Stories about Umar Akmal

#PakVsAus: In search of ‘bench strength’, Pakistan lost their self-belief

The purpose of the series between Pakistan and Australia was to start off with a clean slate, as both teams were finding their feet in the ODI format. Australia was coming off from a 3-2 victory over India, while Pakistan was coming after a 3-2 defeat by South Africa. However, the twist came in when Inzamamul Haq announced the squad for this series. All the main players, including Captain Sarfraz Ahmed, were rested for this series to try out the strength of the bench. The result of this series has already come out, with Australia leading the series 4-0 and Pakistan ...

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The PSL4 final was just a formality – the trophy already had Gladiators engraved on it

The rest of us had to wait till March 17th to know who will ultimately be crowned the champions of Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019, but in the Quetta camp, it seems victory was already foreseen. Soon after qualifying for the final, Dwayne John Bravo was already humming to: “Quetta Quetta, we the Gladiators!” “Quetta Quetta, we the Gladiators!” Best Batsman of the tournament & player of the #HBLPSL 2019, @ShaneRWatson33.Winning captain, @SarfarazA_54.Man of the Final, Muhammad Hasnain.Champion Gladiators 💜#KhelDeewanoKa pic.twitter.com/0fy4vLgL6e — PakistanSuperLeague (@thePSLt20) March 17, 2019 I must confess, I sang along those lines too even though I felt guilty because I was ...

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Gladiators vs Zalmi: When the best of the best come face to face

Quetta Gladiators versus Peshawar Zalmi: the two finalists confirmed after a month of enthralling cricket. All the ebbs and flows of the tournament bow down to one game, the final, which is to be played on Sunday, March 17th. Gladiators have previously been part of two finals, yet have come out short on both occasions. I believe the reason is their key players leaving them once the tournament was shifted to Pakistan. This year they will not be facing such a problem, having secured the services of T20 megastar Shane Watson. Watson was part of the previous Pakistan Super League ...

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Umar Akmal vs Asif Ali: Who deserves to play in the 2019 World Cup?

I know the first thing that comes to mind when I mention the name Umar Akmal is, “Why are we talking about him again?” Yes, perhaps we shouldn’t be. It is certainly a dangerous thought that lurks in my head, that I perhaps should have let go of the very instant it popped up. That is, however, difficult to do because right now we desperately need a power hitter to fill the number six spot as part of our team’s line-up at the 2019 Cricket World Cup. The only two players that currently fit the criteria are Akmal and Asif Ali. I already know that neither ...

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The PSL frenzy: With 7 matches down, which team looks promising so far?

Pakistan Super League (PSL) has played a pivotal role in the restoration of international cricket in Pakistan, albeit partially. This year, eight matches will be played in Pakistan and hopefully after their success, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will be able to convince more players around the world that Pakistan is a safe country to host cricket matches. The fourth season of PSL commenced on Valentine’s Day. Till now, every team has shown their muscle on the field. The tournament is still in its early stages, with only seven matches played; however, we can still try and predict each team’s future ...

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#PakVsSA: After losing all three formats, is there an end to Pakistan’s ‘bad luck’ streak?

As another game on this tour of South Africa passes by, another series has been lost by Pakistan, this time exactly where it hurts – the T20 format. The most frustrating part about this tour is that Pakistan has been competitive throughout the series; it was just at the key moments that Pakistan ended up losing the game. The second T20 against South Africa is the perfect illustration of this. Initially, our bowling was decent; all the bowlers bowled relatively well, besides Usman Shinwari. On a pitch where slower balls were required, Shinwari conversely tried to increase his pace with every delivery. ...

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PakvsNZ: T20s proved Pakistan is a good team, but the ODIs will determine if it is a great one

Earlier this week, Pakistan triumphed over New Zealand in the T20 series with an impressive 3-0 victory. Good teams will look at such a performance and think they have all their bases covered. But in order to be a great team, one would have to look at how to improve this performance and excel in all areas. There is no doubt Pakistan absolutely dominated the series, but there remain a few glaring issues which need to be ironed out going forward, most notably our batting order. Firstly, in order for Sarfraz Ahmed to be effective, he must not bat anywhere below ...

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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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