Kamran Akmal is Pakistan’s best T20 opener: Latif

Former cricketer believes wicketkeeper-batsman deserves to represent the Men in Green in the shortest format

Kamran Akmal is Pakistan’s best T20 opener: Latif PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan cricketer Rashid Latif believes that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made a mistake by ignoring wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal for the three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series against Australia.

Former captain Sarfaraz was dropped from the T20I and Test squads for the tour of Australia and his place in both squads was taken by 27-year-old wicketkeeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan.

While speaking on a private channel, the former cricketer said that Akmal deserves to represent the Men in Green in the shortest format.

“If Sarfaraz was not selected, then Kamran Akmal would have been his ideal replacement in T20I cricket," said Latif. “Kamran is the best T20 opener in Pakistan, so not selecting him is a mistake.”

“Rizwan should have been part of the Test squad only,” he added.

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Few days ago, the 51-year-old had criticised Pakistan’s new T20I captain Babar Azam for preferring himself as an opener instead of wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal in the ongoing National T20 Cup in Faisalabad.

“Babar could have played at one down while playing for Central Punjab as he is an established player, but instead he demoted Kamran to one-down position who does well as an opener in the Pakistan Super League (PSL),”he said.

Latif was also not in favour of selecting out-of- form opener Fakhar Zaman for the tough tour down under.

Pakistan will play three T20Is in Australia, with the first match due to be played in Sydney on November 3.

The T20Is will be followed by two Tests, in Brisbane and Adelaide, later that month.