Kamran Akmal defends Umar Akmal after fitness controversy

The wicketkeeper-batsman claimed that the incident did not happen as reported

Kamran Akmal defends Umar Akmal after fitness controversy PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, in an interview with GTV Network, defended batsman Umar Akmal after the latter was alleged to have exposed himself in front of his trainer during a recent fitness test.

The wicketkeeper-batsman claimed that the incident did not happen as reported and asked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to bring all parties together in an effort to sort out the problem.

“I don’t think anything like that happened. If something like this happened then they should call the parties involved. As I said, I believe no arguments occurred. This was a total misunderstanding. The trainer and Umar are good friends. They have studied in the same school. If the person involved found something wrong then I think Umar can apologize. But I don’t think he did anything intentionally,” Akmal said.

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The 38-year-old claimed that if a player was not living up to the required fitness standards than it was the job of the fitness trainer to help the players.

“If the players are not living up to the requirements, then I think it is the job of the trainer to work things out. In that case all players have to work out extra hard. They are doing that. We are preparing for the PSL. Without preparations you can’t play an entire tournament if they are not fit,” he said.

Akmal claimed that Umar had worked very hard to enhance his performances in order to be considered for the national side.

“Honestly I can say that he has worked really hard. We are all sad about his exclusion from the national side. He is a player that the team needs but still isn’t in the team. He has been working very hard. He is very passionate about a comeback. This is a total misunderstanding. I hope the PCB calls all the parties involved and clears out whatever it is. This was nothing big. If anything he should be given a warning and asked to move on,” he said.

The wicketkeeper-batsman believed that the current fitness tests were harder than ever before and stressed the need to prioritise skills over fitness.

“They are treating everyone the same as far as fitness is concerned. We are all working hard. If you work on skills it automatically enhances your fitness. The new test is not that easy. It has become increasingly hard now. They should check for performances more from the coaches to get an idea,” he concluded.

Earlier, Pakistan middle-order batsman Umar Akmal landed in hot water, once again, after he was allegedly accused of misbehaving in the presence of a foreign fitness trainer at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

According to sources, when the foreign trainer wanted to measure Umar Akmal’s body fat, the 29-year-old took off all his clothes angrily and questioned the trainer “Do you see any fat in my body”?

The PCB is likely to take strict action against Akmal, after a complaint regarding his inappropriate behaviour was filed by the coaching staff at the NCA.