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Umar Akmal should have been treated like Akhtar, Afridi: Kamran Akmal

Wicketkeeper-batsman says ‘off the field’ activities are part and parcel of Pakistan cricket

PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal believes that his younger brother, Umar Akmal, should have been treated in a different manner, by the team management, inorder to keep the latter out of controversies. 

While speaking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Kamran compared Umar’s case with former cricketers like Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar.

“Off the field activities in nothing new in Pakistan cricket. Team management and 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. 

The Lahore-born also revealed that he was intentionally kept out of the national side, despite good performance in domestic cricket.  

“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,” he said. “In the recent past, couple of coaches did not like me which is why I remained on the sidelines.”

“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 added.

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He also urged the selectors to pick players on basis of performance in domestic cricket rather than just the Pakistan Super League (PSL), while also drawing parallels with Indian Premier League (IPL).

“Players are selected on performance in PSL, while those have been doing well in domestic cricket are ignored. That’s is not how you make good teams,” he said. “If India started doing this, they would have the entire team selected from IPL.”

“Tournaments like IPL and PSL are good for exposure and confidence but the performances that count come from four-day cricket,” he concluded.

FULL INTERVIEW