ISLAMABAD - Test discarded wicket keeper Kamran Akmal termed his exclusion from the national side on change in batting order and lack of required backing by the head coach.
Kamran expressed these views during an exclusive interview with The Nation on Friday. He said it was not due to his wicket-keeping but it was his batting which resulted in his ouster from the national squad. “I was shown on the door just because of lack of consistent performances in the Champions Trophy but no one except skipper Misbah managed to give desired results in that particular event but the axe falls only on me.”
Kamran said his consistent performances in the domestic cricket were a clear indication of his fitness and abilities. “I had captured 46 victims behind the stumps and also scored more than 500 runs with the willow.” He said he had scored loads of runs under the captaincy of Inzamam-ul-Haq as he discovered my batting abilities and gave him his all out support and it was his confidence in my abilities, which inspired me to excel against Australia and that too at their own backyard.
“After the departure of Inzamam, Younus Khan, Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi kept on trusting in my abilities. They always supported me and urged me to perform. I had scored runs while batting at the top order but ever since Misbah and Hafeez took over the reins of the national team not only me but others also suffered badly. There is no one who is assured of batting at the same number, which he was doing under the past captains.”
“I had scored one century and 2 half centuries in the President Trophy. I had rediscovered lost form with the bat and if given a chance to represent national team I will not disappoint selectors and would perform exceptionally with both behind and in front of wickets.”
He said it was backing of Inzamam, which helped players like him, Malik, Afridi, Younus, M Yousaf, Rao Iftikhar and other, as he utilised his options accordingly. “He was practically involved with each and every individual. He was the best leader and had great command on reading the situation accordingly.”
On a query regarding Umer Akmal's exclusion from the Test squad, Kamran said Umer had scored whenever he was sent up in the order. “He had performed with the bat on number of occasions. But like others, he was never sent on the proper number to bat at. According to me Hafeez should open the innings and let others come at the right and suitable numbers, which would help not only the skipper but also the team a great deal in getting desired results.”
Kamran appealed to PCB to hire Inzamam as new head coach. “Dave Whatmore’s tenure is almost over and it is my humble request to hire Inzamam as the head coach and also take on board great leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed, who had done wonders with the English team. Both of them would help Pakistan team to bring much-needed stability and consistency in performances, which the team lacked for a long period of time.”
He said, after being overlooked for the national team, he had spent hours and hours in the nets working on his wicket keeping and batting techniques with the Afghan national team fielding coach Abdul Majeed. Kamran said he had great hopes from the newly-restored PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf and described his role as exceptional as Pakistan managed to beat mighty England, beat Sri Lanka at their own backyard, won Hong Kong Super Sixes and also the memorable Asia Cup in Bangladesh during his tenure. “He had taken Pakistan team to new heights and I am sure he would repeat the same during his tenure and Pakistan team would reclaim the lost glories and would become one the major force of world cricket in a short period of time.”
He said Adnan Akmal was a very good utility player but his department didn't utilise him properly. “He was only restricted to 4-day matches in domestic cricket. He had just played one one-day match in domestic cricket this season where he scored 40 plus runs. Player should be judged after giving him proper chance in all formats of the game. I am ready to respond to national team call, whenever selectors required my services,” Kamran concluded.