Money was at the centre of differences within the Pakistan team after the 1992 World Cup ? few were happy with all the dollars and rupees flowing exclusively into captain Imran Khan?s cancer hospital trust.
Eventually, a piqued (even disappointed) Imran opted out of the England tour ? the then world champions? first engagement after the World Cup ? and never again took the field.
Apparently, a cash dispute has surfaced again. But with a difference ? it?s not over a charity or trust. Nor about rupees and dollars, either. Actually, it?s got everything to do with some dirhams. And, this time, before a World Cup.
Ironically, it?s Javed Miandad, who had a big hand in instigating teammates against Imran, who is at the centre of a storm.
Indeed, damaging reports in this morning?s Urdu-language papers prompted Miandad, a national icon like Imran, to quit as coach.
It is a stunning development, coming just weeks before the World Cup. Pakistan, already positioned as one of the favourites, may now find odds lengthening somewhat.
Miandad, of course, has denied the allegations, attributed to unnamed senior players.
He told Reuters tonight: ?The allegations (that he didn?t share the money awarded to the team, in Sharjah last week, by a Pakistani businessman) are untrue. But the reports indicate the players don?t want me. I don?t want them either.?
It?s sensational stuff. But, quite frankly, typical of the intrigues that often take centrestage in the Pakistan dressing room.
Surprisingly, Miandad didn?t touch on the reports in his terse ?letter? of resignation, faxed from Karachi in the afternoon, to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters at the Gaddafi in Lahore.
Miandad merely said he wouldn?t continue owing to ?pressing family commitments.? Absolutely nobody is going to buy that.
Significantly, Miandad?s contract was to end with the World Cup. He took over from Haroon Rashid last August, before the Sahara Cup. In fact, the PCB had even given him the ?option? of making a comeback.
That didn?t go down well with all the players. However, that had nothing to do with today?s headlines.
Just who leaked the dirham-related reports wasn?t clear, but The Telegraph?s sources indicated all was not well in the Pakistan camp even though the team has had a fantastic 1999.
It is understood Miandad recently spoke to PCB chairman Khalid Mahmood, asking for a bigger say in just about everything. Specifically, team selection and enforcing discipline. Sources point out Mahmood only gave a patient hearing as Wasim Akram, the on-a-roll captain, would never ?accept? an even more powerful Miandad.
It?s no secret, in cricketing circles, that Akram and Miandad have, in the past, had major differences. Too much, therefore, should not be read into their ?great captain? and ?great coach? lines, parroted in recent weeks.
Though taken aback by developments, the PCB is playing it rather cool. Speaking exclusively, the Lahore-based Mahmood remarked: ?The resignation came so late during working hours that our secretariat couldn?t establish contact with Miandad. That will be done tomorrow.?
But would the PCB ask Miandad to reconsider? ?Well, it will depend on what he has to say about ?pressing family commitments.? At the moment, I can?t be more specific. In any case, whatever he says will have to be put before the Council (the PCB?s supreme body), which meets in Karachi on May 1.?
Mahmood declined to comment on this morning?s reports, but it?s likely the PCB will probe what has been alleged. It?s even possible that some senior players may force the PCB?s hands.
Confessing he hadn?t had time to think of a replacement, Mahmood did suggest Pakistan A coach Mohsin Khan could take over in the short-term.
But the dark horse may be former captain, manager and coach Intikhab Alam. Though removed after the last World Cup, Inty had a hand in Pakistan?s 1992 success.
Pakistan leave for the World Cup on April 27 ?- they could well do so without a coach. The tournament, of course, begins May 14 and Pakistan?s first match is on May 16, versus the West Indies (Bristol).
The off-the-field fun and games, in Pakistan, may only have just begun.