Pakistan domestic news November 14, 2012

Umar Akmal dropped by his domestic side


Umar Akmal, the Pakistan batsman, has been left out by his department side Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) from the President's Trophy, the Pakistan's domestic first-class tournament. Akmal had skipped several rounds of the tournament, but was 'discouraged' after being dropped as he had hoped to show his Test credentials in the remaining rounds of the competition.

SNGPL are currently unbeaten in the President's Trophy, topping the table with 45 points after winning five of their six matches. Akmal only featured in one game, against National Bank of Pakistan in mid-October. He played in two Twenty20s against an International XI led by Sanath Jayasuriya and in the Hong Kong Sixes in late October but mainly missed matches due to his brother Adnan's wedding between November 6 and 8. Akmal has been associated with SNGPL since 2007 and scored 2224 first-class runs for the department at 57.02.

"It's really discouraging for me when I was snubbed by my department for just a petty reason," Akmal told reporters in Lahore. "I am in full practice and was meant to play most of the rounds but due to Adnan's wedding I had to miss most of the matches- a reason that was known to the management but still I am dropped. I was informed that it's a decision taken by higher management, and not the team management."

Basit Ali, the SNGPL coach and former Pakistan batsman, said Akmal was dropped over his form and he need to work on his technique to play first-class cricket. "He needs to learn how to bat in the longer-format of the game," Basit told reporters on the sidelines of the on-going match against Pakistan International Airlines at Gaddafi Stadium. "No doubt he is a great talent but he must sense the nature of the formats and play according to the format. He wasn't in good touch and was asked to play club cricket."

Akmal, 22, scored his maiden ODI hundred in his third match of his career and also made a century in his debut Test in 2009. While his limited-overs career has flourished since that promising start, his Test fortunes have waned, and he is yet to establish himself in the side.

Akmal shrugged off the tag of being a limited-overs cricketer, and said he was keen to play the longer format. "I have scored a lot of runs with good average (35.82) and I think I have done well with my Test cricket," Akmal said, "but perhaps because I play aggressively, the label is there. But I had a golden opportunity to play the President's Trophy to impress the selectors and win back my Test place. I am disappointed at being dropped (by the SNGPL)."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Qadeer on November 16, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    I don't understand why people compare U Akmal and Kohli either...Kohli is a fantastic and now established batsmen and U Akmal is a waste of space. All i've been hearing for the past few years now is 'what a talent'. Well i'm afraid that talent hasn't materialised into anything. BYTW i'm Pakistani before anyone starts suggesting i'm an Indian or ........(please add any other nationality)

  • Dummy4 on November 16, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    I don't understand y people compare U Akmal and V Kohli wd their stats. U Akmal played his cricket outside Whereas V Kohli played in his country. V Kohli comes at #3 in all formats but U Akmal has no permanent position in the lineup. That is enough I must Say....

  • Stark on November 15, 2012, 18:55 GMT


    Umar has played most of his matches outside of Asia, whilst Azhar and Shafiq have primarily played in the sub-continent.

    Yes, Azhar proved his mettle against Eng in Eng and I agree, he is very well suited to Test cricket but he is already 27 years of age.

    However, Shafiq hasn't played much outside the sub-continent and when he played in Nz, he averaged 35.66 with the highest score of 83, whilst Umar has an average of 63.16 with a century and three 50's, plus he was by far the best batsmen during the Australian tour.

  • Vijay on November 15, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    Umar Akmal was better than Kohli. How times have changed?

  • Niaz on November 15, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    I think U Akmal is not a good test player.Drop him from national side to go back and play first class.i don,t know how can u drop him from first class.So Basit Ali ans me how can akmal improve his circket

  • Dummy4 on November 15, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    Basit Ali, the SNGPL coach and former Pakistan batsman, said Akmal was dropped over his form and he need to work on his technique to play first-class cricket.

    Hahahah ... What a joke :-)

  • Nasser on November 15, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    Umar Akmal is not test-standard and accepts 35 as a good test batting average demonstrating low expectations of himself and una. It is at least 10 short with a large number of batsmen having averages of around 55. Given Pakistan's dearth of talent, Umar would still be needed in limited overs cricket but he should be kicked out of test cricket.

  • Dummy4 on November 15, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    My suggestions 1. Groom Azhar Ali for captaincy. 2. Groom 1 or 2 spinners like yasir shah before saeed ajmal retires. 3. Hammad azam should be a constant member of ODI and T20 squad. 4. Drop Abdul razzaq, kamran akmal,shoaib malik, imran nazir, yasir arafat, muhammad sami permanently. We dont need performance once in a blue moon.These guys have given lot of chances. 5. Drop cheema, abdul rehman, taufeez umer these guys are the not the quality players. Always struggle against good teams. 5. Search good wicket keeper batsmen. 6. Bring waqar younis back as bowling coach. 7. Check afridi form for a year,if not good drop him. 8. misbah should resign from ODI too. 9. Groom young fast bowlers. ODI squad: hafeez (C),azhar, nasir, azhar,shafiq,umer, hammad,sarfraz ( temporary, keep searching good wiket keeper batsmen if found drop him as well ),afridi ( drop him after 1 year if form is not good, replace him with good alrounder , alrounder must b spinner ),Umer gul, saeed ajmal, Junaid Khan.

  • Dummy4 on November 15, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    The only problem with UMAR AKMAL is his ' temperament ' and nothing else. It is the duty of coach and captain to tell him. He is the only batsmen in PAK team who always play confidently in any situation where as the misbah, hafeez etc all panic at pressure situation. KOHLI and UMAR came at the same time in international cricket look where is KOHLI now. Pakistani cricket management deal and guide him poorly. UMAR can't play test cricket until misbah retires or someone injure but he should be in the test squad.

  • Dummy4 on November 15, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    This is totally ridiculous!

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