He was once seen as one of Pakistan’s top batting talents but Umar Akmal failed to live up to the expectations. And the 29-year-old batsman, who has also done wicketkeeping for his country like his brother Kamran, feels he never got the backing of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) the way India captain Virat Kohli did. Umar made his international debut in 2009 but in a decade, he has appeared in only 16 Tests, 121 ODIs and 82 T20Is, scoring nearly 6,000 runs with three international hundreds.
Kohli, on the other hand, made his international debut a year before Umar and recently completed 20,000 international runs across the three formats. The Indian captain has slammed 68 international hundreds so far and looks strong to better the world record of 100 hundreds made by his compatriot Sachin Tendulkar.
‘Can’t drop player you have invested in’
“His [Kohli’s] cricket board gave him a lot of support. They guided him and continue to guide him even now. I am not saying that I was not given support. But you know very well who the cricket board backs and doesn’t back. I would request the cricket board to support its players. If you invest in a player, then don’t drop him before big tournaments,” Umar was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
Umar made a thumping debut in Tests when he had hit 129 in his first outing which was against New Zealand in Dunedin. He became just the second Pakistan batsman to score a century on debut in red-ball cricket outside home. It was because of his satisfactory performance with the bat that Umar had raised his batting position to No.3. But he hasn’t played in a Test after 2011. Umar last appeared for Pakistan in March this year when he scored 43 against Australia in Dubai but did not get a call to play in the World Cup.
Umar found himself in trouble with the authorities after he gave interviews to the media without seeking the permission of the board. He was dropped from the Test side as a result of which both he and Pakistan missed out on gaining something.
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