Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Ramiz Raja, the former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, has admitted he is not sure if batsman Umar Akmal will be able to become an asset for the men in green once again.
Back in the day, Akmal was a regular member of the national team and a consistent run-scorer. His impressive performances made him one of the most entertaining cricketers in the country.
However, things started to go wrong for him when he became involved in numerous off-field issues and controversies. Most recently, he was banned for failing to report corrupt approaches in 2020.
This led to him being completely out of contention for selection in the Pakistan cricket team.
Given the dramatic fall from grace Akmal experienced, Ramiz acknowledged that it is hard to tell whether he can revive his international career and become a useful asset for the national team once again.
“Will he be able to become an asset for us or not,” Ramiz was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
Akmal, who is Pakistan captain Babar Azam’s cousin, recently played for the Quetta Gladiators in the 2023 Pakistan Super League (PSL).
In six matches, he accumulated 95 runs at an average of 23.75 and a strike-rate of 186.27.
Akmal was not selected for Pakistan’s recent two-Test series against Sri Lanka, which the men in green won 2-0.
They will now face Afghanistan in a three-match ODI series, which will be held in Sri Lanka from August 22 to 26.
After that, the men in green will feature in the Asia Cup, which will take place in Pakistan and Sri Lanka from August 30 to September 17.
Pakistan Squad for Afghanistan ODI Series and 2023 Asia Cup: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel (Afghanistan series only), Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tayyab Tahir, Mohammad Haris (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr