Former Pakistan Head Coach Mickey Arthur has recalled his heated exchange with banned middle-order batsman Umar Akmal, while admitting that he might have used couple of strong words.
Back in 2017, Akmal had said that Arthur cursed at him in the presence of Chief Selector Inzamamul Haq and implied that other players have also been at the receiving end of the South African’s foul-mouthed rants.
“I thought he was arrogant during the incident at the high performance centre. He went up to our fitness trainer Grant Luden and asked him for his fitness programme, despite the fact that he was given six to seven of those in the past. He then walks up to Grant Flower and asks ‘can I have a hit?’ which I thought was unbelievably arrogant,” Arthur said while talking on BSports Pakistan’s official YouTube channel.
“That’s is where I told him lets go and have a chat. I told him that you need to sort things out first which includes improving fitness and scoring runs before coming to the academy to use our facilities. I might have used couple of stronger words as well but that was to shock him into some sort of action,” he added.
Arthur, who is now head coach of the Sri Lankan cricket team, also believes that he would be surprised to see Akmal, who is currently serving a three-year ban over failure to report corrupt approaches, back in the Pakistan team
“If Pakistan picked him again, I would be very surprised and it would be a very poor decision,” he said.
Few days ago, Arthur also opened up about his complicated relation with the controversial batsman Umar Akmal and believes the 29-year-old has failed to reach his potential due to lack of proper guidance.
“It’s definitely too late for him [Umar Akmal] now,” said Arthur.
“It’s sad because he is a likeable enough bloke but what he needed was a real firm hand at the start of his career to guide him properly. I don’t think he got the right messages earlier in his career because if he had, he wouldn’t have gone down the route he has chosen to. He was frustrating to work with.”
“He has all the talent in the world but has wasted it and, unfortunately, he will now go down in history as one Pakistan player who has underachieved,” he added.