While there may be many who will advocate the return of Kamran Akmal in Pakistan’s side after his prolific form at the domestic level and here in the Pakistan Super League but head coach Mickey Arthur ruled that out, a few hours after Kamran Akmal notched a brilliant hundred in Sharjah on Friday.
Asked does he watched Kamran bat against Lahore Qalandars for his 107 not out and does he feel he can be included in the Pakistan team again, Mickey replied: “Look, you never say never. I think, to be brutally honest, we have a young team and we are looking forward.”
“He played terrific today but again the old comes back, where does he field while Sarfraz (Ahmed) is wicketkeeping? There are a lot of things to weigh up. We have got a Twenty20 side that is number one in the world and there are not going to be many changes.”
Kamran knocked 150 — the highest in National Twenty20 — last year followed by 200 not out in the departmental one-day tournament but has not been able to break into the national side.
Mickey was delighted at Karachi Kings reaching the last four with a solid seven-wicket win over table toppers Islamabad United on Friday.
“We prepared well and the guys were really disappointed not to win against Peshawar and take pressure off us so we challenged ourselves and talked about different scenarios,” said Mickey.
Usman Shinwari took 4-17 and Shahid Afridi 2-18 as Islamabad were knocked down for a paltry 124 in 18.5 overs. Karachi Kings overhauled the target in 18 overs for the loss of three wickets.
“We sort of put little ticks in today’s game. The first tick was to qualify and the second was to finish in the two and we got that,” said Mickey, whose team knocked down Islamabad in last year’s eliminator, a contest between the third and fourth placed teams.
“Last year we played them in the eliminator and we beat them to get into the second eliminator and its sort of a deja vu but this is a different thing with the first two place.”
Mickey admitted that it will be a different game on Sunday as Islamabad will be at its full strength after resting Luke Ronchi, Mohammad Sami and Samit Patel.
“It will be a different game with Ronchi, Sami and Patel back so it will be a different scenario,” said Mickey, who ruled out skipper Imad Wasim’s return on Sunday.
“He won’t play on Sunday but we hoping that after that we will get him available,” said Mickey of Imad who hurt himself while taking a catch against Lahore in Dubai.