There was never any doubt about the talent in Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal but off-the-field issues have taken a toll on his career, but elder brother Kamran Akmal feels things could have panned out differently with a different approach.
The talented young batsman was recently banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for a period of three years for not reporting corrupt approaches to the board.
Wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal believes the 30-year-old Umar Akmal should have been handled better by the team management.
Talking to Cricket Pakistan, Kamran Akmal cited the example how Inzamam-ul-Haq handled characters like Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar and powered them on to success in their careers.
“Off the field activities in nothing new in Pakistan cricket. Team management and the captain should know how to deal with such players. Look at the way Inzi Bhai (Inzamam) handled Shoaib (Akhtar), Asif and Shahid (Afridi). If the same was done with Umar Akmal, things would have turned out differently,” said Kamran Akmal, during an interview with Cricket Pakistan.
Umar Akmal has turned out in 16 Tests, 121 ODIs and 84 T20s in his career so far. He averaged a modest 35.82 and 34.34 in Tests and ODIs respectively after making his debut back in 2009.
Kamran Akmal feels he has been unfairly treated
The 38-year-old Kamran Akmal played 53 Tests, 157 ODIs and 58 T20s in his 15-year international career for Pakistan.
Kamran Akmal also alleged that he was intentionally kept out of the side.
“I have been performing in domestic cricket and PSL during the last five years but despite that I have not been given a chance to play for Pakistan.
“In the recent past, couple of coaches did not like me which is why I remained on the sidelines,” Kamran Akmal added.
Kamran Akmal, who played his last ODI back in 2017, compared himself to Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, who managed to stage a comeback into the Australian on the back of his impressive performances in domestic cricket.
“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.
“Players are selected on the performance in PSL, while those have been doing well in domestic cricket are ignored. That’s is not how you make good teams. If India started doing this, they would have the entire team selected from IPL,” Kamran Akmal felt.
The former Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper also felt that domestic four-day form should matter more than T20 franchise cricket.
“Tournaments like IPL and PSL are good for exposure and confidence but the performances that count come from four-day cricket,” Kamran Akmal concluded.Published 30 Jun 2020, 15:52 IST