PSL News

Umar Akmal’s ‘PSL’ future in danger

Middle-order batsman Umar Akmal’s future in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season four remains undecided as the authorities finalise the players list for the draft.

PSL season four draft is just around the corner and the committee featuring members of national selection committee Wasim Haider and Wajahat Ullah Wasti and PSL Head of Players Execution Imran Ahmed Khan finalised list of players for the draft in Lahore on Thursday.

Umer — who was in Platinum category during the third edition — was not picked in any category of for the upcoming season’s draft due to an ongoing investigation against him in the International Cricket Council (ICC) following his comments that he was approached by fixers, the Daily Express reported.

However, Lahore Qalandars suggested the committee to place the right-handed batsman in the Gold category while other franchises members suggested Platinum category for the 28-year-old, the source added.

Earlier, In third edition of PSL, after six straight losses in nine games have left Lahore Qalandars firmly rooted to the bottom of the table and Akmal’s poor form – and familiar questions about his attitude – have seen left him out of the squad. According to sources he was not even been travelling to the stadium with the side anymore.

That represents some fall for a player who lit up the league in its inaugural season, finishing as top scorer in 2016, making 335 runs at 83.75. He was less successful last season but was retained by Lahore and was always thought to be an important part of the side.

But after making just 57 runs in five games in the ongoing season he was dropped, the trouble beginning with a bizarre run-out during the group stage match against Peshawar Zalmi. Since his axing, he has been attending training sessions at the ICC academy.

The decision to drop Akmal, was a unanimous one, with team owners, managers, coaching staff and captain all on board. It is also understood that an upset Akmal has responded by sending angry messages to the team owners complaining about the captain Brendon McCullum talking to the media about him.

“Umar is a complicated guy and we all know he has well-documented troubles throughout his career,” McCullum told ESPNcricinfo. “But he is incredibly talented and he has done special things in his career and if his career has to finish now, I think it’s fair to say that he has underachieved.

“I think it’s a hard message and sometimes you need that, because as a cricketer you need to be honest with yourself and you need those who are prepared to be honest with you.”

This is not the first time Akmal has had a fallout with his team – it follows the pattern of his ouster from the Pakistan side. Last year his career took a major hit after the PCB had omitted him from the list of 35 centrally contracted players. He was the most notable omission, with his fitness having been a major concern.

He was then involved in a very public spat with national head coach Mickey Arthur, which subsequently led to the PCB slapping a three-game ban on him during domestic season and a fine of PKR 1 million. Besides that, the PCB also revoked all No-Objection Certificates issued to him for participation in overseas tournaments for two months, forcing him to miss the Bangladesh Premier League.

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