‘Forget Umar Akmal and move on’

Umar Akmal
Akmal, 26, after emerging as a hot prospect in 2009, has failed to live up to the fans' and selectors' expectations. — AFP/File
Shukriya Pakistan

Former Pakistan fast-bowler Mohammad Zahid believes it’s game over for out-of-favour batsman Umar Akmal and it’s time to oust him completely out of the equation.

Akmal, 26, after emerging as a hot prospect in 2009, has failed to live up to the fans’ and selectors’ expectations despite starting off his career brilliantly.

The right-hander scored a century in his second One-Day International (ODI) appearance for Pakistan against Sri Lanka and also smashed a Test debut ton in New Zealand later that year.

Akmal’s showed glimpses of his talent after his early days in the Pakistan shirt and failed to show consistency.

Today, eight years after his debut, the batsman is a liability for the national side.

“We should forget about him (Akmal) and move on and get another deserving player to take his role,” Zahid told Pakpassion.net.

Akmal last scored a century three years ago, that too against minnows Afghanistan — and has just three half-centuries in his bag since then.

The Lahore-born batsman, however, still keeps making it to the Pakistan squads — if not in all formats then at least in one.

Akmal was ignored for the ODI and T20 squads for Pakistan’s upcoming tour of the West Indies after failing a fitness Test — one of the many reasons he keeps getting in and out of the side.

“He has recently been dropped for fitness reasons and before that it was discipline which was cited as a reason for ignoring him,” said Zahid, whose career was marred due to a back injury.

Zahid also believed Akmal can easily be replaced by many other batsman who are desperate to cement their spots in the national side and have been performing better than the Lahore-born cricketer.

“He is not that important a player and has been around for a few years, so we must consider a replacement for him,” he said.

“I do not see any way in which his attitude and situation can improve in the short run so why continue wasting time on him?” questioned the 40-year-old.