Kamran Akmal appeals to PM Sharif to take up his case with PCB selectors

Karachi [Pakistan]: Dejected Pakistan’s out-of-favour wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, who is eagerly waiting to make a comeback to the international cricket, has urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to hear him out and ask the selectors to consider his case on merit.

Akmal, who has been sidelined from international scene since the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh, became something of a running joke in the cricketing world after his wicket-keeping fell way below the international standards.

“I strongly feel that I am being ignored even after so many good performances in domestic cricket,” the Dawn quoted Kamran as saying. “I want the selectors to consider me purely as a batsman as I realise fully well that Sarfraz Ahmed is performing outstandingly as wicketkeeper.”

“I therefore appeal to the PM to hear me out and ask the selectors to consider my case on merit,” he added.

The 35-year-old, however, has been very impressive in the recent times, becoming the most successful wicketkeeper in the country’s first-class history.

“For a batsman, the only way to make a comeback is his performance and I have been doing that by scoring a lot of runs to merit selection”, he said. “I had met PCB COO Subhan Ahmed before coming to Hyderabad and now awaiting a call from PCB. Let’s see what they say,” Akmal said.

“Those who don’t perform must be dropped from the national team. I don’t want to name those players, the selectors know who they are but they are being persisted with,” he added.

The wicketkeeper-batsman also said there are quite a few batsmen besides him who are also performing well but are still being ignored for national selection.

“Not just me but talented players like Usman Salahuddin and Asif Zakir have been playing outstandingly for a few seasons now and must be given a chance to represent the country.”

Recalling how PCB chief Shahryar Khan had told him to perform on the domestic circuit and get selected, the right-handed batsman said, “I don’t know what else performance is. This is the third consecutive season that I have piled up the runs but perhaps I lack the right kind of contacts or political connections to get into the national team,” he said in a candid comment.”

Expressing his disagreement to the fact that he is being ruled out on grounds that he has been playing for 14 successive years now, Kamran gave examples of Marc Boucher, Alec Stewart, AB de Villiers and Moin Khan.

“Look at Mark Bou­cher who played 150 matches without a break, and so did Alec Stewart, A.B de Vill­iers, Stewart and our own Moin Khan who all played for a long time. And their splendid performances benefited their team,” said Kamran. “If anyone is performing then there is no reason to discard that player.”

“Look at Misbah-ul-Haq, he is performing so well at 42 and is the backbone of the team, so age or experience should never matter,” he added. “I repeat I perhaps lack support of some politician, who will get him inducted [in team]”, he said. “Three of us brothers have served Pakistan but unfortunately, even Adnan Akmal has been out of favour since he got injured two years ago.”

The wicketkeeper-batsman, the veteran of 53 Tests, 154 ODIs and 54 T20Is, was also successful at the National T20 Cup, where he finished among the top scorers with 260 runs in eight matches.(ANI)