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Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal said former Prime Minister Imran Khan asked ex-head coach Waqar Younis why he was not part of the top order.
Akmal had asked Imran to recommend that he bat at number three.
This occurred during the 2016 T20 World Cup, when Waqar was the national team’s head coach.
Pakistan lost three of their four group stage matches and were eliminated from the tournament. Due to that, along with a number of other factors that occurred once the team’s campaign ended, Waqar ended up resigning from his position.
“Imran Khan himself asked Waqar Younis why I was not a part of the top order,” Akmal was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
The 32-year-old has been playing domestic cricket in Pakistan lately after making his return from a ban for failing to report corrupt approaches ahead of the 2020 Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Akmal was banned for three years at first, but it was halved to 18 months after an appeal in July 2020.
It was reduced again to 12 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but he was also fined 4.25 million Pakistani rupees.
Akmal played for the Quetta Gladiators in this year’s PSL and amassed 101 runs in five matches, which included a top score of 50, at an average of 20.20 and a strike-rate of 174.13.
He then mustered 135 runs in seven games for Central Punjab in the Pakistan Cup at an average of 19.28.
He is now playing for the Jammu Janbaz in the Kashmir Premier League (KPL), where he has made 19 runs in three matches at an average of 9.50 and a strike-rate of 67.85.
Akmal still hopes to play international cricket again, but he was not picked for the Netherlands ODI series or the Asia Cup.
Pakistan squad for Asia Cup: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir