Adnan Akmal: Chirping away towards success

Published: January 21, 2012

With seven catches to add to his 61, it may well confirm the end of Kamran’s Test career even if the older brother is cleared of wrong-doings. PHOTO: REUTERS

For all the banter that Adnan Akmal parts with behind the stumps, he comes across as a rather shy, no-nonsense individual away from the cricket field, unlike his siblings that have played for Pakistan.

Adnan doesn’t ooze defiance and arrogance like Umar and hasn’t mastered the smooth flow of the bat that Kamran often offered. He doesn’t have a bag full of big hits and isn’t likely to attract an IPL or a BPL contract anytime soon.

But he does approach every outing with the dedication – however limited and unappealing his talent might seem right now – and conscientiousness of someone who wants to make it big and is willing to grind it out for that.

He holds on to more than he grasses, perhaps drawing sighs from Danish Kaneria who suffered at the hands of Kamran throughout his career.

He refused to wear a helmet while standing up to the stumps in Bangladesh and swiftly realised that cricket, as every Pakistan fan would vouch for, brings with it a healthy dose of pain accompany every bout of joy.

And he lived to tell the tale, having the distinction of not losing any of the 11 Tests that he has represented Pakistan in so far.

But with his timely – and badly needed – 61 against England in Dubai, one that ultimately played its fair share in the win, he’s shown that his confidence levels are rising and, most importantly, while keeping up with the modern times, there has propped up another wicket-keeper who can bat.

Adnan’s early statistics are remarkably similar to Kamran’s — 238 runs and 38 dismissals in the first 10 Tests as compared to his older brother’s 276 and 35.

He hasn’t been as badly needed at the crease as was Kamran against India in Karachi but his Misbah-esque resistance while batting, complemented aptly by the lunging drives that were sprinkled across his stay at the crease, will remain one of the highlights of the match and perhaps the series.

Replacing Kamran remained one of the happiest, yet disconcerting, moments of his life. But he always knew it was his destiny to emulate the duo and become the third from the family to represent Pakistan.

Almost four years before he accomplished that feat, he asked me to take his photo and put it up on Cricinfo so that publications would be able to print it when he makes the cut.

He was part of the SNGPL squad that lifted the Quaid Trophy in its maiden season, ensuring his presence was felt on as well as off the field.

Adnan doesn’t come across as a natural entertainer, content with building the innings and working towards the greater cause.

He, unlike a few that have donned the national colours, remains humble, the first to greet you when in sight while shying away from interviews, forcing others forward quite willingly. It often happens with newbies, but they lose that touch with time.

And as the team trudged off the field after dismissing England for a second time in three days, Adnan’s smiles matched his teammates’ but with seven catches to add to his 61, it may well confirm the end of Kamran’s Test career even if the older brother is cleared of wrong-doings.

Faras Ghani

Faras Ghani

Sports editor of The Express Tribune who is also the author of the book "Champions, again" farasghani.com/championsagain.html

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Pinky

    aww..adnan is kinda ed miliband to kamran’s david miliband ;p
    but as a first born i feel if my youngest sibling ever outshines me like this, i will take it lying down :) Recommend

  • Amar

    He is really a good keeper after Moin and Rashid for Pakistan Team……Keep it Up AdnanRecommend

  • Zobia akhtar

    Brilliant article, very well written. Akmal truly has potential, and a lot of runs ahead of him.
    I would like to point out that you have a fact wrong, Pakistan has lot one test match with Akmal, the first one in West Indies last year.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    i like adnan.. he dropped a couple of catches but batted very good. let’s see how he does when the team doesnt need him that much. carefree or defenseive.and Zobia, Salman was the wicket keeper when pak lose to west indiesRecommend

  • Fawad

    @Zobia akhtar: Ermm… no, Mohammad Salman was the keeper on the Windies tour.Recommend

  • Ali

    I’m not taking anything away from Adnan but as Pakistanis we have to stop admiring the so called good qualities of our cricketers. Its sad to say this but I remember Aamir being interviewed the day prior to bowling those no balls on tv. After watching the interview I mentioned to my father how level headed and down to earth this kid is and how great it is for Pakistan. I love cricket but I hate to say that I am past the romantic nature of humans behind our cricketers. What they do away from cameras always seems very different as compared to what they do in front of them? Im sure Adnan is a good kid but I thought the same about Kamran, Salman, and Aamir. How wrong was I?Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    I was chatting with an Australian friend of mine the other day, he jokingly suggested that the PCB should not send Kamran Akmal on Pakistan’s next tour of Australia, the Australians still talk about that ill fated Sydney test. I wonder if Adnan will do otherwise when and if he is on a tour of Australia.Recommend

  • Rizvi

    Brilliant guy…….good player and full of life. His acrobatic leaps are quite amazing as well :)Recommend

  • http://nill Aqsa Farzand_ bscBE.d37 odd

    Adnan is also good keeper like his brother Kamran and sometime looking shy during his performanceRecommend

  • http://nill Urfa Tbassum_ bscBE.d71 odd

    Very important thing about Adnan is that he replaces his brother.Recommend

  • http://nill Shehnaz Hussain bscBE.d 76 even

    He also enjoy during his performance. Actually funny guy Recommend