Kamran defends younger brother Umar, says Pakistan cricket failed to handle his talent

(Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

KARACHI: Discarded Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal on Tuesday defended the erratic behaviour of his younger brother, Umar Akmal, saying the country’s cricket establishment has failed to handle the talented batsman.
Umar is presently serving a three-year ban for not reporting spot-fixing approaches but has appealed against the decision with an independent tribunal of the Pakistan Cricket Board. The date of the hearing is yet to be finalised.
“Off the field activities are nothing new in Pakistan cricket. Team management and captain should know how to deal with such players. Look at the way Inzi bhai (Inzamam-ul-Haq) handled Shoaib (Akhtar), (Mohammad) Asif and Shahid (Afridi). If the same was done with Umar Akmal, things would have turned out differently,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan website.
Kamran also voiced his unhappiness at being kept out of the national team despite good performances in domestic cricket.
“I have been performing in domestic cricket and PSL (Pakistan Super League) 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, a 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.
Kamran last played for Pakistan in 2017 in the West Indies despite having a successful career in the national team during a career spanning 53 Tests, 157 ODIs and 58 T20s.
Kamran also advised the national selectors to pick players on the basis of performances in domestic cricket rather than just the PSL, while also drawing parallels with Indian Premier League (IPL).
“Players are selected on performance in PSL, while those who have been doing well in domestic cricket are ignored. That’s 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.

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