“To be or not be”… Umar Akmal should ask himself. He in Pakistan squad is like an “invisible man” who boards an airplane without being noticed.
Not too long ago, before Pakistan tour to Sri Lanka in July this year, the selection committee ignored him after he failed to comply with their instructions and report for the training camp at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). Chief selector Haroon Rasheed was very disappointed with his attitude and approach.
Umar has the distinction of getting dismissed thrice in 24 hours. During Pakistan’s last Twenty20 match against England at Sharjah, Akmal played a hasty shot and was caught by Chris Jordan at deep mid-wicket. The 25-year-old had managed only four runs from nine balls. The match went to a Super Over as both the teams had scored the same in 20 overs.
In the one-over eliminator, Umar was sent to bat but could not do much. He tried to play a low full toss, but the ball went on to hit his leg stump.
Right after that Umar had to fly to Chittagong in order to play a match of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). In that match also, Akmal failed to prove his skills. A delivery from Shakib Al Hasan went past his bat and wicketkeeper Mohammad Mithun appealed as soon as the ball was in his gloves. That was the third time in 24 hours that he got out, though the decision has been much debated. He scored one run from eight deliveries in that match against Rangpur Riders.
Last month he was dropped from Pakistan’s T20 team against England because of an incident in Hyderabad. It was alleged that the cricketer had misbehaved with a woman at a party. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sent him a show cause notice. Later he was allowed to play against England.
He denied any such incident. His statement was, “I attended a dinner party after being granted official permission by my team manager. I am not answerable to anyone apart from the department I am playing for.
“Cricket is my love and I want to represent Pakistan for a long period of time.”
Umar wanted to retire from T20 format when he was dropped from the squad against Zimbabwe. Now as he is back in the business, he should focus on his game and think as a grown up.
He is a very good batsman and asset for Pakistan team. He has lots of skills but he has to be serious about his career. He is still young and has plenty of time to improve his performance. Hopefully he realises his importance and work hard in future.
England made a clean sweep against Pakistan but a few of our players showed their worth. It was a brilliant come-back by Shoaib Malik, as he performed well in both bowling and batting.
Coach Waqar Younis gave the credit to Shoaib’s wife, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, for his performance. “Credit must be given to his wife, she’s a top level sports star herself so she knows how to deal with the demands and pressures of the game. I find Malik a lot more humble and understanding than before and his game has gone up a notch too.”
Shoaib has retired from Test cricket but is determined to play the shorter formats of the game.
We hope Shoaib will continue to grow and leave the game as a great cricketer.