Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Nadeem Khan, the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Director High Performance Centre, said he didn’t let batsman Umar Akmal train at the National High Performance Centre (NHPC) in Lahore since he needs to perform better in domestic cricket.
Once Akmal does this, he will get to use the facilities at the NHPC, Nadeem confirmed.
Since there are limited facilities available, only top players or young up-and-coming talents are given the opportunity to train at the centre, he added.
“Players, who are [at the] peak of their careers or rising talent, are allowed to train in the NHPC. Mostly, you will see young players in NHPC as we have very limited facilities there,” he was quoted as saying by Cricwick.
“No doubt, Umar has served Pakistan for a long time. His services can’t be overlooked. He should perform in domestic cricket to get more facilities.”
Akmal is back playing domestic cricket after serving a ban for failing to report corrupt approaches ahead of the 2020 Pakistan Super League (PSL).
He was initially given a three-year ban, but this was brought down to 18 months after he lodged an appeal.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) further reduced Akmal’s ban to 12 months, but fined him 4.25 million Pakistani rupees.
Former PCB chairman Ramiz Raja even called Akmal a “jackass” for what he did.
Akmal ended up playing for the Quetta Gladiators in the 2022 Pakistan Super League (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.
Nadeem, meanwhile, could resign from his position as the PCB’s Director High Performance Centre as numerous changes have been made since Ramiz was removed as the board’s chairman and Najam Sethi, the head of the interim Management Committee, took over.
The Pakistan team are currently playing a two-Test series against New Zealand, which is tied at 0-0 after the first match ended as a draw.
The second Test will start on January 2 in Karachi.
Pakistan Squad for New Zealand Test Series: Babar Azam (capt), Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Agha Salman, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood and Zahid Mahmood