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PCB refutes 'baseless' Umar Akmal allegations

After Umar Akmal criticised Mickey Arthur and the Pakistan coaching team, the PCB has hit back with a strongly worded statement.

Umar Akmal - cropped
Umar Akmal in action for Pakistan

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has strongly condemned Umar Akmal, accusing the wicketkeeper-batsman of making "baseless allegations" against head coach Mickey Arthur and the national management team.

Umar was issued with a show-cause notice on Thursday for breaching the PCB's code of conduct. In a media conference, the 27-year-old accused Arthur of verbally abusing him and said the coaching staff at the National Cricket Academy did not want to work with him to improve his fitness.

However, the PCB claim Umar was given multiple opportunities to raise his fitness levels and earn selection for the ICC Champions Trophy. 

"The PCB strongly condemns the reckless statements made by batsman Umar Akmal with regards to his omission from the ICC Champions Trophy squad," read a PCB statement on Friday.

"While making frivolous allegations against the national team management, Umar has made a bogus attempt to deviate attention from his own failings. Umar was given as many as seven chances to improve his fitness and match the standards of his team-mates, laid out by the team management.

"Umar was given a program to improve his fitness like other players before the West Indies tour and after he failed the tests in Lahore, he was left out of the team.

"After clearing another test before the squad selection on eve of the ICC Champions Trophy in England, Umar was included in the eventual 15-member squad. 

"The PCB wants to stress that the team trainer conducts fitness tests of squad members before each international assignment and the tests before the Champions Trophy were conducted as a continuation of the policy. Once again Umar failed to attain the desired level of fitness and the team management was left with no option but to drop him from the squad.

"Head coach Mickey Arthur had placed Umar in his white-ball format plans and gave him repeated chances for redemption. Unfortunately, though, the batsman remained incapable of reaching the requisite fitness level.

"The PCB awaits his response to the show cause issued to him yesterday and hopes that in the meantime, the batsman will refrain from making baseless allegations."

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