Akmal to return home from England

“Since we have a policy not to carry unfit players, it has been decided to call him back and send a replacement”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal will be heading back home from England after he failed two fitness tests in two days.

Akmal’s poor fitness is set to cost him big time as he is now likely to miss the Champions Trophy next month.

The national selectors are already in the process of finding his replacement and have narrowed it down to Umar Amin and Haris Sohail.

Amin has not played ODI cricket since October 2014, while Sohail last featured in the 50-over format in May 2015.

“He has failed two fitness tests during the ongoing camp there in England ahead of Champions Trophy,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan told 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.”

Akmal was recalled for the Champions Trophy after missing out on┬áPakistan’s recently concluded tour of the West Indies.

However, since fitness has become one of the highest priorities for the selectors, there was no leniency shown towards the 26-year-old.

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

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