Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Umar Akmal, the Pakistan batter, believes the fans should decide if he is “needed in the team’s middle order or not.”
Akmal has not played international cricket since October 2019 and recently returned to domestic cricket after serving a ban for failing to report corrupt approaches in 2020.
The 33-year-old, who is Pakistan captain Babar Azam’s cousin, featured in the 2023 Pakistan Super League (PSL) and scored 95 runs in six matches for the Quetta Gladiators at an average of 23.75 and a strike-rate of 186.27.
Since he still harbours hopes of playing for his country, Akmal feels the fans will provide a clear indication of whether they want to see him back in Pakistan colours or not.
“It’s up to the fans to decide whether I’m needed in the team’s middle order or not,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
Akmal was not picked for Pakistan’s two-Test series against Sri Lanka or their three-match ODI series against Afghanistan.
He also isn’t part of the squad for the ongoing Asia Cup, where the men in green demolished Nepal by 238 runs, shared one point apiece with India after their match was rained off, and cruised past Bangladesh by seven wickets.
However, they ended up stumbling in their Super Four match against India as they lost by 228 runs.
Pakistan will look to turn things around when they face Sri Lanka on September 14 in Colombo.
Pakistan Squad for 2023 Asia Cup: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Haris (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Shahnawaz Dahani, Zaman Khan.
Travelling reserve: Tayyab Tahir