Dawn News

Umar Akmal. — Photo by AFP

LAHORE: Middle-order batsman Umar Akmal is going through counselling sessions from a PCB psychologist in order to improve his mental attitude which has cost him a spot in Test matches.

Three others Pakistani cricketers namely tainted fast bowler Mohammad Aamir, controversial wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider and opener Ahmed Shehzad are also going through similar sessions.

Umar, who was once hailed as the brightest batting talent on the cricketing horizon, has struggled in recent months due to his impetuosity and reckless approach in batting which has cost him his wicket on a number of occasions.

Umar, who cracked his maiden Test century against New Zealand, has failed to reach three figures since and has been axed by the national selectors from Test matches due to his immature approach on the crease.

Sources said that Umar attended five lectures from the psychologist before he went to perform Umra. He may be called for more lectures later on.

Former chief selector and coach Mohsin Khan had sidelined Umar from the Test matches last year, criticising the youngster’s reckless approach towards batting and his habit of throwing away his wicket at a crucial time. Meanwhile, Aamir who is serving a five-year ban imposed by the International Cricket Council (ICC), is also attending the lectures from the PCB psychologist with the hope of improving his mental approach to the game.

Also, Ahmed Shehzad who has the potential to become a dashing, hard-hitting opener for Pakistan, is also taking the sessions after he was found guilty of misconduct on several occasions in both domestic and international matches.

Moreover, the sources said that Zulqarnain who shocked everyone by leaving the national team abruptly in the UAE for London without informing the team management on the eve of the fourth ODI against the South Africa, has taken a number of counselling sessions and is now showing signs of improvement.

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