Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal has accused head coach Mickey Arthur of verbally abusing him and banned him from training at the National Cricket Academy.
Akmal added that he was “insulted” by Arthur’s comments that he had to “earn the right” to use the National Cricket Academy.
Given that Akmal is a player that has found himself in hot water on numerous occasions, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) were quick to pick up on the allegations he made while talking to reporters and issued a show-cause notice against the 27-year-old, which will require him to respond to them within two weeks.
“I had gone to England for rehabilitation of my knee injury,” Akmal said. “After I recovered, I went to the NCA to start working on my fitness and training. But the coaching staff doesn’t want to work with me at all.
“When I asked why all those international coaches didn’t want to work with me, they responded that they wanted to prioritise working with players who had central contracts. I said that I too am an international Pakistan cricketer, and if my fitness is lacking – and I admit that along the way my fitness has been found wanting – they should help me.
“I then went to talk to the chief selector (Inzamam), but he referred me to Mickey Arthur. Arthur took me back to Inzi bhai’s room and started scolding me and using bad language in front of Inzi bhai, which I found demeaning and insulting.
“It’s not even my fault, and I find it painful that anyone should be allowed to swear at me. I accept my fitness isn’t up to the mark, and I am trying to work on it, and I asked to be allowed a trainer to help me. But Mickey said I shouldn’t even have come to the NCA, and should be playing club cricket instead.”
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Arthur confirmed that he had spoken to Akmal and told him that he needed to earn back the right to use the facilities at the National Cricket Academy, especially as he was recently dropped from the list of centrally contracted players.
“I did tell him [Akmal] a few home truths and said he was always looking for excuses instead of looking at himself,” Arthur said. “I also told him that he had to earn the right to use our support staff because he is not a contracted cricketer. He can’t just walk in here and demand what he wants.”
One of the key reasons Akmal wasn’t offered a central contract can be attributed to his disappointing fitness levels, which has had serious repercussions on his international career as of late.
Akmal was dropped for the Champions Trophy in England in June as he failed two fitness tests in as many days. This has been a recurring theme for the Lahore native as he was the only player, out of 31, to fail a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in March.
Even though Akmal’s fitness standards are not meeting the standards set by the PCB, he insisted that Arthur had no right to talk to him in such a derogatory manner.
“He [Arthur] shouldn’t be swearing at me like that, it is like he’s abusing all of Pakistan,” Akmal said. “You look at any cricket match, and you’ll see he’s swearing at one player or the other. I want to reveal this to the public and to all my fans. I request the chairman [Najam Sethi] to take this issue very seriously. When the head coach is allowed to swear at someone whenever they wish, that is unacceptable. As a Pakistani, I could not stomach it.
“I want to tell them that even when I try to do something good, I am prevented from doing so. When I take pictures with my fans, they, too, tell me to work on my fitness, and I feel they are right. But now I want to rectify this, everything is being snatched away from me. Why do academies exist? They exist to correct our mistakes. Now you should tell me what to do; I am a Pakistan player.”