Umar Akmal goes AWOL

The batsman was supposed to report for a camp at the NCA but chose to play in the CPL

Nabeel Hashmi July 07, 2015
Umar Akmal opted to play in the Caribbean T20 league rather than show up for the national team camp. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Discarded middle-order batsman Umar Akmal ignored the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) instructions to report for a training camp to prepare for the one-day series against Sri Lanka and instead opted to honour his commitment of playing in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20.

Umar — along with Mukhtar Ahmed, Bilal Asif, Anwar Ali, Muhammad Irfan and a few others — was asked to report at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and train ahead of the five-match series as he was in contention to be named in the ODI squad.

Before leaving to play for the Guyana Amazon Warriors, Umar represented Candyland and Omar Associates in different Ramazan tournaments.

“Umar was in contention for the ODIs against Sri Lanka but he had his own ideas and preferred to play in the Caribbean T20 league,” a national selector told The Express Tribune. “This shows the mental attitude of the player and his motivation to represent the national team. He doesn’t need any enemies because he is ruining his career all by himself. This will further dent his reputation because there have already been serious question marks regarding his attitude and commitment to Pakistan.”

Read: Bilal Asif, Umar Akmal on selectors’ radar for Sri Lanka ODIs

Umar has played two matches in the CPL but has managed just two runs in those two outings, albeit one of them was an unbeaten knock.

The younger brother of wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, Umar burst onto the scene as a talented youngster but has failed to live up to his potential, often blaming the management for not sending him up the order.

“As selectors, we don’t want to jeopardise anyone’s career but the PCB must look into this matter because it’s really serious,” added the selector. “He was called in for the camp, which means he was among the candidates.”

Read: It will be amazing feeling to play at home, says Umar Akmal

The PCB spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied the story, while Umar could not be contacted.

The board is all set to announce new central contracts which start from July and Umar is expected to be demoted from his B category contract.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th,  2015.

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