Stories about Umar Akmal

PCB’s awakening: Out with the old and useless, in with the young and talented

The cricket fraternity has aptly labelled the Pakistan cricket team as ‘unpredictable’, but little does the world know that we can be equally surprising off the field as well. After all, it is ironic that a player nicknamed “professor” by the team will now earn less than or equal to the youngsters he was meant to be a guide for. Meanwhile, Ahmed Shehzad’s lifelong (pun intended) contract with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has finally been scrapped for good. Times are changing fast within the PCB, and players need to get accustomed to performance-based evaluations rather than banking on ...

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What has Mickey Arthur done for Pakistan cricket?

The sight could not have been more vivid. Pakistan were reeling at 162-7 in their do-or-die Champions Trophy clash against Sri Lanka at Cardiff. The camera panned on Pakistan Head Coach Mickey Arthur, who was sitting on the balcony. Over the course of Pakistan’s run chase, he went from having a reasonably cheery smile on his face at 74-0, to gradually seeming worried, annoyed, disgusted, at times livid, and finally, sporting an expression of pure and utter disappointment on his face.   Overs later, when Pakistan had mounted an impressive comeback to win the game on the back of a ...

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At least now we know what Ahmad Shahzad has been smoking!

During the series against World XI last year, I wrote on Ahmad Shahzad. Roughly nine months have passed and here I am writing about the same person again. He was playing selfishly back then and now he is allegedly playing with substance abuse.  The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not officially stated the name of the cricketer involved in the doping test, however, they have confirmed that there was someone who tested positive. Reports have been surfacing that this “mystery man” is Shahzad. To be honest, it would not be a surprise if this turns out to be true. Not much ...

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Imran Khan may become the next PM, but Umar Akmal will never learn from his mistakes

Imran Khan could become the next prime minister of Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif could end corruption once and for all. Donald Trump could end up falling in love with Pakistan. I can expect any of these situations to become a possibility in this world, but if there is one thing that comes close to being impossible, it has to be Umar Akmal learning from his own mistakes. Umar Akmal's career summed up! #KKvsLQ pic.twitter.com/e9fIERS1Af — Hassan Munir (@hasssan39) February 26, 2018 The Lahore Qalandars are known for their bravery, amongst other things. Sometimes, however, they take a step too far as they try ...

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Four focal factors that led to the fall of the Qalandar empire

Pakistan Super League (PSL) is in full swing these days. From great catches to scintillating finishes, PSL fans have experienced it all. So far, we have seen two extremes of consistency in the tournament. On one hand, Quetta Gladiators have shown their rising graph of good performances, while on the flip side, we are seeing consistent dismal performance from Lahore Qalandars. From the best captain to a strong support staff, the Qalandars have got all the ingredients required to get better results, but somehow things have not been going well for them right from season one. Lahore Qalandars in every ...

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His name is Babar Azam, not Virat Kohli

In the land known to produce premium fast bowlers, a young schoolboy-like personality is making strides in the batting arena like we have never seen before. A staggering ODI average of 58.60 comes off so unique to us that it almost feels like this individual has been misplaced, and needs to return to the other side of the border. However, as astonishing as it may sound, this particular batsman is Pakistani indeed. His name is Babar Azam, not Virat Kohli. Babar Azam is pulled into an embrace by his captain after raising his sixth ODI century, ...

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Dear PCB, when will you learn that it is not all about the money?

Recently, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced a 100% increase in the salaries of domestic players and coaches alike. Furthermore, the contracts of the players and coaches have been extended to a year-long period from the pre-existing six-month period. On the surface, this looks like a great move on PCB’s behalf, but this move alone will not improve the dilapidated state of Pakistan’s domestic cricket. Domestic players and coaches always complain that the greatest problem they face is a lack of funds and how this issue has severely hampered the development of cricketers. Now with this increase in salaries, the onus is on ...

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Other than selfies, what was Ahmed Shehzad’s contribution in the Champions Trophy to deserve the cash prize?

Pakistan just pulled off an incredible victory against politically imposed nemesis India in the Champions Trophy final last month. The victory tasted so sweet that the government and media houses (don’t forget the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) too, they’re here somewhere) took it upon themselves to virtually term this win as the epitome and peak of Pakistan’s performance. Really? Wait, we’re still ranked sixth in the world? Hold on to your horses, people; it’s a great win but Pakistan cricket has a long way to go. The victorious Pakistan team lift the Champions Trophy, India v Pakistan, Final, Champions Trophy 2017, The Oval, London, June 18, 2017. Photo: ...

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It’s about time Pakistan moves on from the Akmal trio once and for all, starting with Umar

Umar Akmal, who had been dropped earlier from Pakistan’s squad that traveled to the West Indies due to poor fitness, was announced as a member of the 15-man squad that would travel to England to feature in the ICC Champions Trophy. After being dropped from the national squad, Akmal was asked to lead Punjab in this year’s edition of the Pakistan Cup which, again, raised a few questions over what precedent the board and selection committee were trying to set. How was a player who deemed unfit for national selection, now fit enough to lead a side in the country’s ...

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As captain, can Sarfraz Ahmed steer Pakistan to victory in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy?

Pakistan’s archaic style of ODI cricket is up for a stern test in this summer’s Champions Trophy. The team is grouped with South Africa (ranked number one in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings), arch-rivals India, and Sri Lanka. A realistic assessment might be for the team to win at least one out of these three games – more likely to be the one against Sri Lanka – but that would also mean having to do away with the optimism of a Pakistani cricket fan. Regardless of how bad we think our team is, almost every fan will, as always, ...

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