ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

New Zealand v Pakistan, World Cup 2011, Pallekele

Umar may replace Kamran as wicketkeeper

Osman Samiuddin in Pallekele

March 9, 2011

Comments: 288 | Text size: A | A

Shahid Afridi gestures after Kamran Akmal dropped Scott Styris, New Zealand v Pakistan, Group A, World Cup, Pallekele, March 8, 2011
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi thinks it may be time to replace Kamran Akmal behind the stumps © AFP

Pakistan will consider using Umar Akmal as a wicketkeeper in their remaining group games in the World Cup in a bid to offset the disastrous glovework of his elder brother Kamran. Akmal senior missed three chances in Tuesday's big loss to New Zealand, including the centurion Ross Taylor twice in three balls when he was on 0 and 4.

Those chances come on the back of two missed stumpings in the win against Sri Lanka and over four years of constant, error-strewn performances. "It [keeping with Umar] is very much an option and we might try it in the next game," captain Shahid Afridi told Geo News.

As a sign of Pakistan's concern over Kamran's form with gloves and bat - he has only three dismissals so far and averages less than 30 as a batsman - Afridi did not rule out the possibility not playing him as a specialist batsman and dropping Kamran altogether. "We have five days now before our next game, so whatever is better for the team we will try it," he said.

Kamran is the only specialist wicketkeeper in the squad but Umar kept for the side in one ODI against South Africa last November, after Zulqarnain Haider fled to London. He was also behind the wickets for three T20s in New Zealand soon after.

"If you see him train, he puts in a lot of hard work. I don't know why but luck has deserted him," Afridi said. "He is also upset about his performance [against New Zealand] and he realizes it too." Asked by the channel how "luck" seems to have deserted him so often in the last four years, Afridi smiled and said, "I can't give an exact answer to that. My job is to back him, to support him and hopefully he will do his best."

If he is dropped, it will not be the first time in the last four years it has happened to Kamran. After a promising couple of years as the first-choice replacement for Moin Khan and Rashid Latif, Akmal's performances began to dip on the 2006 trip to England, where he persisted behind the stumps despite a finger injury.

But Pakistan stuck with him until June 2008, when Sarfraz Ahmed kept for the side in the Asia Cup. Kamran returned soon after, however, with no discernible improvement in performance. Only in January 2010 was he next axed and it took the monumental failure of the Sydney Test, where he missed five chances in all, for Sarfraz to be flown out for the final Test in Hobart.

In Pakistan's next Test against Australia at Lord's last summer, Kamran was back again, however. After three more poor Tests, Zulqarnain Haider came in to replace him, but a contentious finger injury ruled him out after his debut. Yet again, Kamran returned to keep wickets in the last two Tests of the summer.

He was subsequently caught up in the fall-out of the spot-fixing scandal and the PCB refused to clear his selection for the series against South Africa in the UAE and the third Akmal brother, Adnan, took his place in the two Tests. But the board's integrity committee finally cleared him in December, allowing for his selection in the ODI series against New Zealand and the World Cup squad.

His long-term future is again under question now. After the game, Waqar Younis, the coach, said "After the World Cup maybe we can think about it, but we are in the middle of the tournament and I don't think we can make such a change right now."

Pakistan took a day off from training on Wednesday but the team management said it would sit down and go through the loss and plan for the next game, against Zimbabwe on March 14.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 288 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (March 12, 2011, 16:00 GMT)

It is not easy to predict the future games. But the World Cup is still open and all the quarter finalists should be able for hard fighting. It's not only the matter of Kamran, our Openers and passers in the ending overs are not performing well. that's alarming situation and it should be covered before the quarter final stage. I think only Captain and a couple in the middle order are the Heroes up to the last game. Let's see how much the other players will support them in future games.

Posted by samad on (March 12, 2011, 4:01 GMT)

Inshallah pakistan will won & kamran is not bed only that day was not with him v should give him another chance , he can improve

Posted by Muhamad on (March 11, 2011, 19:29 GMT)

To Cricinfo: All the confusion among fans about Asad Shafiq being a wicket keeper is because of Asad Shafiq's profile at cricinfo web. Which syas "Fielding position Wicketkeeper".

Actually its not true. Asad Shafiq is not and have never been a wicketkeeper, just see the scorecards of the ListA and FirstClass matches he has played so far. He was never playing as a wicket keeper.

I don't know from where did Cricinfo comeup with this info that Asad Shafiq is a wicket keeper.

From a common sense point of view, see Asad's record on same cricinfo profile page. It says; 20 caches in 39 First Class Matches and 16 catches in 33 list A matches. That means 0.5 catch per match and Zero Stumpings. Is that record of a wicket keeper? Still anyone mistaken that he is a wicket keeper? Cricinfo please remove "Fielding position Wicketkeeper" in Asad Shafiq's profile.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 11, 2011, 16:18 GMT)

You Guys are missing a point, Am a kenyan but Pak fan, this guy Kamran Akmal is unlucky on the field but very Lucky outside the field His drop cost the game but he gets a central contract.When we thought he will be dropped his brother Umar who is the only reasonable replacement injures his finger so now wether we love him or loathe him we have no options. He will keep in the next game vs Zim and score quick fire 50.Come the Aussies game he will cost us the game and possible semifinal perth coz we would otherwise have topped group A n meet no4 of group B. but things dont look bright now.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 11, 2011, 11:58 GMT)

Ahmed Shehzad must be dropped...

Posted by Amir on (March 11, 2011, 11:26 GMT)

Some people are posting here that we just lost 1 match so i just wanna let them know that if i lost one match yes just one match in quarters then we are gonna be out of this worldcup. we dont need hardwork of kamran akmal he should 4get the cricket and do something else. we need someone new and some one excellent we dont wanna miss a single catch. as far as we have seen kamran akmal we had enough if this i dont know why people say its just one match i just wanna tell them one match is worth alot. people like kamran get paid to play so they should be good in the job and they should know what they are doing and if they not we dnt need them he should be replaced with someone there are thousands in the que pak got enough talent there are so many players who are far more talented then kamran akmal they should be given a chance.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 11, 2011, 0:25 GMT)

This should be the line up - Hafeez, K Akmal, Asad (WK), Younis, Misbah, U Akmal, Shahid Afridi, A Razzaq, U Gul, Rehman, Shoaib

Posted by Gudu on (March 10, 2011, 22:20 GMT)

Asad Shafiq is an option for Wicketkeeping as well, and he is a very good top order batsman. Why can not we try him instead of Umar Akmal??????

Posted by Gudu on (March 10, 2011, 22:16 GMT)

For God Sale save Pakistan Kick Kamran Akmal out. We have lost so many matches just due to this guy and yet our selectors keep selecting him. Shame on you Pakistani selectors.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 10, 2011, 22:05 GMT)

well i think kamran akmal is not a good wicket keeper. I saw him so many times his technic is not good, when u r wicket keeper ur hands should be very soft then u can catch the ball. In my openion i will code Imran khan, if u make hundred and u miss one catch or stumped, then we dont want his 100 runs.. i think pakistan should get a good wicket keeper after the world cup....

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.
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