Stories about Umar Akmal

Umar Akmal: Bringing much-needed balance to Pakistani cricket

There was a time when Pakistan had remarkable wicket keepers who added valuable runs lower down the order. In those good days, besides Alec Stewart, no other team had players as capable with the bat as Moin Khan or Rashid Latif, especially, when it came to scoring fast runs near the end of an innings.   There was also a time when Pakistan had legendary players like Wasim Akram, Azhar Mahmood, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik in their prime. These men could bowl and bat; they were the ultimate all-rounders. Additionally, the team boasted renowned players like Aamer Sohail, ...

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The ideal Pakistan ODI cricket team includes…

Pakistan needs a new One Day International (ODI) cricket team, and it needs one now. This can’t go on. It should be a criminal offence to keep players like Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal, and Asad Shafiq on the bench. Nasir played the first three ODIs, Asad played only the first, and Umar played none! Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik must go! There’s absolutely no way that Misbah or Whatmore or anyone within the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and team management can justify the exclusion of the above players while Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik continue to enjoy a “no questions asked” run in ...

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Say no to Salim!

The man was an artist. I think he was one of the shrewdest minds to have played the game; one of the smartest batsmen ever; a man who made batting look like art. Besides Sachin Tendulkar, no one mastered Shane Warne the way Salim Malik did. His 237 runs against Australia in Rawalpindi in 1994 still remain one of the finest knocks by a captain. The score is the second highest score, behind Wally Hammond’s 240 runs, by a captain against Australia. Malik’s 92 runs average, in Tests that he captained against Australia is still the highest average amongst captains ...

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T20 order: Crazy, inconsistent but spot on!

Introducing our current playing XI (not in order), Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal. People may criticise Pakistan for being way too inconsistent, but it’s about time we embraced our moments of madness. Here’s what our top, middle, lower and bowling orders are, my critique and what I think could work better for us. Top order: Pakistan has four openers in the playing XI which could be a blessing in disguise. Losing early wickets is our habit so it wouldn’t hurt to have Nasir Jamshed coming in ...

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SuperOver thriller: Pakistan vs Australia

Roars erupted within crowds on the streets and mixed emotions of tension and excitement filled the air in my room just as the last over of yesterday’s hair-raising match began. With Razzaq picking up the ball and looking at it, the nation knew that they were in for something truly special. Pakistan had won the toss and elected to bat in this super over of the 2nd T20 against Australia. After scoring 151 for four, they handed it to Australia who managed 142 runs by the 19th over. They needed, thus, 1o runs to win in six balls. Just as Razzaq began to run-up ...

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Why the U-19 disaster is bound to occur again

Pakistan under-19 cricket team’s dismal performance in the ongoing Under-19 World Cup shouldn’t come to us as a surprise. The state of affairs of sports in Pakistan has been such lately that this was bound to happen eventually. Having said as much, we still feel disappointed because of the recent excellent performances by our U-19 team in the event. While Pakistan’s senior team had their worst World Cup campaigns in 2003 and 2007 (they came back home after the first round on both occasions), the U-19 team brought home the World Cup in 2004 and 2006. They were semi-finalists in ...

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Sri Lankan Premier League: Time for Sri Lanka to shine!

After the huge success of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), it’s time for Sri Lanka to set the stage for the clash of the titans of the cricketing world – and, of course, to make some money too! With the opening ceremony of the Sri Lankan Premier League (SLPL) scheduled for tomorrow, the cricketing world has been taken by frenzy. The bests of the bests will be competing for glory in Colombo and Kandy starting tomorrow.  The 20-day long event, scheduled from August 11 to the 31st, ...

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New skipper, new squad: Let’s beat Sri Lanka!

The Pakistan Cricket Board announced the squads for the tour to Sri Lanka yesterday. The three formats got their own tailored squads with the T20 squad coming up with the biggest surprise. Hafeez has been made the captain for the format and vice-captain to Misbahul Haq in the other two formats as Misbah stood down from international T20 cricket. No formal retirement announcement has been made as yet. Hafeez is affectionately called ‘The Professor’ amongst the team members and is known to think deeply about the game, its strategies and plans, making him the most logical successor to Misbah. He will ...

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Kohli: The future of Indian batting

India has always produced exquisite batsmen from Viswanath to Vengsarkar, Azharuddin to Tendulkar; from this pedigree, another star has emerged that shines brighter than the other young guns around. Virat Kohli has set himself apart from his contemporaries with such dominant performances that India’s batting future seems to be secured. Actually, in the last few weeks we have had a glimpse of that future twice; once, when Kohli led India to a successful run chase in Australia, chasing 321 from 36 overs. And again yesterday, when India completed their highest, Kohli was at the ...

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Misbah is not the problem

If attack is the best form of defence, Misbahul Haq surely doesn’t believe in it. He is a calm character whose presence on the field is barely felt at times and – on some occasions – hardly even matters. He’s patient so he waits until he gets a chance to pounce and at times, it backfires. But he has built a reputation, and a good one, to steer Pakistan past many obstacles in dire circumstances and, while the adrenaline levels remain low, fans ought to be proud of the results ‘captain cool’ has achieved since he has taken charge. The criticism ...

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