'PCB chairmen are temporary, Umar Akmal is permanent'

Middle-order batsman has made numerous comebacks in the side despite being a controversial figure

'PCB chairmen are temporary, Umar Akmal is permanent' PHOTO: Reuters

Pakistan’s former fast-bowler Tanvir Ahmed, in a YouTube video on Thursday, lashed out at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the national team selectors for providing controversial middle-order batsman Umar Akmal with so many opportunities at coming back into the national side despite his behavior and performances.

The 41-year-old claimed that the chairmen of the PCB keep changing while Umar Akmal remains a constant in the Pakistan national side.

“When he [Umar Akmal] is not performing and keeps coming back to the side, it seems to me that his contacts are the only reason. What are the chairman of the PCB and other officials doing in this regard? Why is no one asking selectors why he keeps coming back despite all his controversies. PCB chairmen keep changing but Umar Akmal keeps coming back. Nobody is asking why he keeps coming back after so many chances. I can guarantee that if he gets banned for six months, he will be back as soon as his ban is over. Umar Akmal should not be allowed to come back into the side under any circumstances,” Tanvir said.

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Tanvir recapped the latest incident that has put the struggling batsman in trouble right before the PSL.

“Umar Akmal’s issue is on the forefront nowadays. We know that a day before the PSL, Umar Akmal was not allowed to play for the Quetta Gladiators franchise. He was being investigated for meeting or talking to a bookie. The article 2.4.4 of the PCB’s anti-corruption code clearly states that withholding information in case a bookie approaches you is against the rules and could result in a six-month or a life ban,” he said.

The former cricketer was baffled how no one was asking why the controversial batsman was provided with so many opportunities.

“Many people claim that Umar Akmal had a lot of talent including myself. Misbah gave him another chance in 2019 in which he couldn’t perform. Did no selector from his debut in 2009 till now realise that he, even with his talent, is not capable of being in the national side because he cannot do justice to his talent? He keeps making comebacks. Are their people behind the scenes who have been pressurising selectors to include Umar Akmal. He goes back to the domestic cricket, makes one or two hundreds and comes back. Talented players spend their entire lives performing and don’t get a chance,” he said.