Veteran Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal has lashed out at Pakistan selectors after he was ignored for the upcoming 3-match T20I series against Bangladesh at home.
Pakistan announced a 15-man squad for the 3-match T20I series, starting January 24. Despite the likes of Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez returning to the T20I squad, there was no place for Akmal who has been one of the most consistent performers in the domestic circuit.
Kamran Akmal has finished the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2019-20 as the 2nd highest run-scorer, collecting 906 runs in 11 matches at a staggering average of 60.40. Akmal was also the 2nd highest run-getter in Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019 with 357 runs from 13 matches.
Expressing his frustration at not getting a recall despite his consistent performances, Kamran Akmal said he will not be tolerating the attitude of the selectors towards him.
“I don’t lose heart but there is a limit. It’s been 5 years, you have brought a new system which will have the best quality, best talent and whoever performs will automatically be considered,” Kamran Akmal told Pakistan news channel AAP.
“Should I go and perform in India or Australia to be considered? I am Pakistan’s player, I have been performing since 5 years, how much should I tolerate it? Should I go to the Prime Minister and say this is my performance for 5 years?
“If there’s someone who is playing ahead of me with fantastic performances, that’s fine. I said play me as a wicket-keeper if needed.
“In T20, there is a spot available but you are forcefully playing someone else. This is Pakistan’s team, keep Pakistan in front. If someone is performing, they should be picked.
“There’s a World Cup coming up, I have performed in PSL, and in domestic in all formats and I am a top performer. Misbah should look at these things. Before this, what Mickey Arthur did with Pakistan’s cricket.”
Kamran Akmal was also unimpressed with fitness tests for the senior national team, saying the primary focus should be on the players’ skills.
“The examples are all in front of us. Shoaib Akhtar, Inzi bhai, Yousuf bhai, they would be hiding in the field. Inzi bhai was a great slip catcher. Shoaib bhai would only bowl, he won you matches. Do you think we are crazy? They are making cricketers go crazy now.
“How many fitness tests did Younis bhai and Misbah bhai give? It was Mickey Arthur who came here and started this problem of fitness tests. This policy won’t make players focus on fitness and because of these policies, our cricket is going down,” Akmal said.
Pakistan will play the 1st T20I against Bangladesh in Lahore on Friday. The 2nd and 3rd T20I will be played on Saturday and Monday.