Umar Akmal omitted from Champions Trophy squad after failing fitness tests

Umar Akmal, PCB

Pakistan International Umar Akmal will not feature in the forthcoming Champions Trophy after he failed to pass fitness tests conducted by the PCB ahead of the main event.

Akmal, who had been included in the Champions Trophy squad after previously being dropped in the aftermath of Pakistan’s 4-1 ODI series lost to Australia in January, has been asked to travel home from England, with the selectors mulling Umar Amin and Haris Sohail as his replacements.

“He has failed two fitness tests during the ongoing camp there in England ahead of Champions Trophy,” PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said according to ESPNCricinfo.

“So since we have a policy not to carry unfit players, it has been decided to call him back and send a replacement. We have a deadline until May 25 so we are deliberating on the possible replacements.”

Earlier this year, Akmal had weighed 91kgs with a fat-level of 115.6 — a value above 100 is considered excessive.

The PCB has backed the selectors and the team management in the recent past to enforce strict measures in order to uplift the fitness standards.

“We had a set a fitness standard which isn’t really a tough one to start with,” chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said according to ESPNCricinfo.

“But he still didn’t meet the average level. So whoever the player is, whatever his performance is like, we could not select him. Akmal being dropped is a reprimand and it’s a major blow for any player. He is a good player, we needed him, but we had to take a decision.”

The 26-year-old was also involved in a brawl with fast bowler Junaid Khan during the Pakistan Cup, which resulted in both players fined 50% of their match fee by the PCB.

Pakistan are in the Group B of the Champions Trophy and will play two warm-up matches before taking on title defenders India on June 4 in Edgbaston.

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