After Umar Akmal’s three-year suspension, his brother, Kamran, citing examples of Asif and Afridi, has stated that things would now have been starkly different if PCB had handled the former's talent better. Kamran also stated that he would definitely have made a grand comeback if given a chance.
After making his debut at the age of 19, Umar Akmal’s international career came to an abrupt halt last month, following his three-year ban, for not reporting spot-fixing approaches. The younger of the Akmal brother’s career has always been marred with controversies, including the most recent one of misbehaving with the management over his weight. All of this ultimately has led to a ban for the wicketkeeper, who is just 30.
The 30-year-old, despite having an average of 34.3 and 35.8 in the ODI and Test format respectively, last played in Pakistan colours last year, against Australia. Since then, he has been frozen out of the squad, with Mohammad Rizwan replacing him in the playing XI. His brother, Kamran, however, stated that if the Pakistan cricketing board had dealt with his talent in a better way, things would have been different for both the country and Umar’s cricketing career.
"Off the field activities are nothing new in Pakistan cricket. Team management and captain should know how to deal with such players. Look at the way Inzi bhai (Inzamam-ul-Haq) handled Shoaib (Akhtar), (Mohammad) Asif and Shahid (Afridi). If the same was done with Umar Akmal, things would have turned out differently," he was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan website.
On a personal level, 38-year-old Kamran, himself, was one of the names back in the reckoning for a place in the longest format of the game. However, time and again, the PCB have gone in with other names during squad selection. Talking about the same, the 38-year-old compared his case with Australia’s Mathew Wade, who he believes was picked in the national team on the back of an 18-20 average run season. In reality, the left-handed Wade was picked after averaging 60 in the domestic season with Tasmania, scoring over 1021 runs.
"I have been performing in domestic cricket and PSL (Pakistan Super League) during the last five years but despite that I have not been given a chance to play for Pakistan," he said.
"It's unfair to keep me out of the Test and T20I side, especially, because I can play solely as a batsman. If Matthew Wade can make a comeback with an average of 18-20, why not me who averages nearly 60," he concluded.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi