Karachi: Former Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis has said that he feels “pity and sad” for Umar Akmal as despite having abundance of talent, the middle-order batsman does not concentrate on his fitness and perform consistently.
“I sometimes feel pity for Umar and feel sad for him because he has abundance of talent, but he does not concentrate on his fitness and also does not perform consistently and that has affected his career,” Waqar was quoted as saying by the Dawn.
Akmal has accused head coach Mickey Arthur of abusing him and barring him from practicing at the National Cricket Academy (NCA).
In his allegations against the Pakistan head coach, Akmal maintained that he was dropped from the team for the Champions Trophy after unjustified warning and wasn’t allowed to take the fitness test.
However, Waqar has advised the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) not to form any inquiry committee but give the middle-order batsman a rehab program to play domestic cricket and train for six months to a year and then comeback to top level cricket with full fitness and form.
“The current issue between Umar and Arthur should be sorted out with mutual understanding, and there is no need for any inquiry,” he said.
The legendary fast bowler further said that he did not believe that Arthur had abused Umar intentionally.
“Every coach could be a bit harsh with the players but only for their own benefit,” he said.
“Umar’s father has also admonished his son at times, so this is not a big matter. It also seems that frustration has caught up with Umar because he is not getting chances to play international cricket,” he added.
The PCB has refuted to the allegations made by Akmal with regards to his omission from the ICC Champions Trophy squad, saying that the middle-order batsman is making a bogus attempt to deviate attention from his own failures.
Issuing a statement last Friday, the PCB said, “While making frivolous allegations against the national team management, Umar has made a bogus attempt to deviate attention from his own failings. Umar was given as many as seven chances to improve his fitness and match the standards of his teammates, laid out by the team management.”
Meanwhile, the cricket board awaits Akmal’s response to the show cause issued to him and hopes that in the meantime, the “batsman will refrain from making baseless allegations”.
Earlier, Arthur had brushed aside all allegations levelled against him by Akmal by saying, “He wanted to use Grant Flower’s services for batting. I told him he must earn the right to use the support staff and should first play club cricket. Nobody here should be taken for granted.”
Akmal is known for creating controversies throughout his playing career, either relating to discipline or fitness. He has been involved in regular spats with team members, the most recent one with Junaid Khan. The player has also been dropped from the team often because of these concerns. (ANI)
This is published unedited from the ANI feed.