Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Former Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis has slammed batsman Umar Akmal after he failed two fitness tests in two days and was forced to return home from England.
Akmal’s inability to meet the fitness requirements of the national team led to him being axed from Pakistan’s Champions Trophy squad and replaced by Haris Sohail.
Akmal had been declared fit by chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, but in Waqar’s eyes, someone should be held accountable for the embarrassing fiasco.
“To be blunt, the whole thing was just bizarre and should not have happened,” the legendary pace bowler told Sky Sports. “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.”
This is not the first time that Akmal has failed a fitness test as he endured the same fate earlier this year. At that time, it was reported that the 27-year-old weighed 91kg and had a fat-level reading of 115.6. Anything above 100 is considered high.
With this in mind, Waqar admitted that Akmal should be “ashamed” of not adhering to the fitness standards that have been set.
“Umar is his own worst enemy,” the 45-year-old 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.”