Pakistan veteran Waqar Younis has condemned international player Umar Akmal, who was omitted from Pakistan’s Champions Trophy squad owing to two failed fitness tests, for bringing Pakistan cricket into disrepute and said the 26-year-old should look himself in the mirror after the incident.
The younger Akmal was declared unfit by coach Mickey Arthur and was asked to travel home from the United Kingdom after being picked in the initial Champions Trophy squad that was announced on April 25. Interestingly, he had been declared fit at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore by national selector and legend Inzamam-ul-Haq.
“To be blunt, the whole thing was just bizarre and should not have happened,” Waqar told Sky Sports according to ESPNCricinfo. It has damaged the reputation of Pakistan and Pakistan cricket. Something has gone wrong and it’s difficult to blame Umar, or the selectors, or Mickey Arthur until the full facts are known.
“The Pakistan Cricket Board needs to dig deep and uncover what went on and to resolve this issue to ensure it does not happen again. Whoever is responsible for this episode needs to own up and take responsibility.”
In a series of scathing criticism, Pakistan legend said Umar himself is his own “worst enemy” and that he should be “ashamed” of his latest transgression.
“Umar is his own worst enemy,” the former quick added. “He doesn’t want to work hard, he doesn’t want to put in the effort, he doesn’t want to get fit, and it’s embarrassing.
“He should be thoroughly ashamed that Mickey Arthur and the coaching staff have had to send him back to Pakistan. Umar should look in the mirror and tell himself, ‘In future I will sort this out’. Will he do it? I’m not sure that he will, as there have been many incidents involving him throughout his career. That is why the talent has not blossomed. He has not done justice to himself.
“I think the PCB, the coaches and the selectors have been very kind to Umar as they keep giving him the opportunities because everyone wants to see him succeed and do well at the international level. I guess he’s happy with what he’s doing but if this was me, I would feel ashamed.”
However, Umar apologized to his fans and expressed determination to make yet another come back to the national team on his return.
“I want to ask forgiveness of all fans who have been hurt by my conduct. I am ready to commit to cricket. I still have a lot of cricket left in me and I aim to make another international comeback. I am even more focused on cricket now.”
Pakistan Squad for Champions Trophy 2017: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahdab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Haris Sohail, Wahab Riaz.