umar akmal, basit ali, sngpl, adnan akmal, pakistan cricket, pcb
“People tend to forget that I am only 22. Don’t try to ruin my career before it has taken off the ground.” -Photo by AP

An agitated Umar Akmal shot back at his critics vociferously after being dropped by his first-class team SNGPL for the ongoing President’s Trophy and vowed to shut them up by scoring “lots” of runs.

In a career that has spanned only a few years Akmal has had to fend off quite a few detractors. But this time it seems the jibes have finally gotten under the skin of the younger Akmal. Being dropped from the Test side and most recently from his domestic outfit has not helped much.

“Runs and lots of them is the only way that I can get people off my back. I know that whatever I do, however many runs I make there will always be people out there who will take cheap shots at me. I would suggest to those people to get off my back, instead support me, give me a chance,” Akmal said in an interview with

There has been much confusion and talk over his domestic axing and SNGPL coach Basit Ali and Akmal have offered two separate reasons for it.

While Basit has categorically said the decision was purely based on the batsman’s form, Akmal has repeatedly claimed it was because he missed several rounds of the President’s Trophy to attend brother Adnan’s wedding, something which was communicated to the SNGPL management, according to player.

“He needs to learn how to bat in the longer-format of the game,” Basit told reporters on the sidelines of the on-going match against Pakistan International Airlines at Gaddafi Stadium. “No doubt he is a great talent but he must sense the nature of the formats and play according to the format. He wasn't in good touch and was asked to play club cricket.”

Akmal felt Basit’s behaviour suggested there was something personal to the whole matter.

“I feel that there has to be a personal issue here regarding my treatment and personal matters should not get in the way of cricket. At first I was liked by Basit Ali, he was very supportive and helped me, but I’ve noticed a change in his behaviour towards me of late. If I’ve made a mistake then tell me what I have done wrong, but don’t mistreat a young cricketer who just wants to do his best for his domestic team and for his country. There are very important series coming up to India and South Africa.”

Akmal’s future at SNGPL remains unclear after this latest episode. Despite reiterating his availability for SNGPL, he stated that he would weigh up his options regarding his future at the end of the season.

“I have made myself available whenever I could for SNGPL, I have had 5 good years here, but this episode has left a bitter taste in my mouth. I feel I have been treated unfairly in this instance but I am available for the team whenever they need me. However, I will sit down at the end of the season and look at what my options are and which teams are interested.”

As far as getting back into contention on the international stage and winning back the ‘critics’, it is quite simple; Akmal will have to perform against India in the upcoming limited-overs series. Traditionally, most Pakistan players have been granted an extended-lease of life after they excel against India.

“People tend to forget that I am only 22, don’t try to ruin my career before it has taken off the ground. I will make mistakes, all young cricketers do, but I know I can be an integral part of the Pakistani batting line up in all three formats if given the chance, but I need backing and I need support and I know I will deliver. I want to put this behind me, start playing first class cricket again and be mentally ready for the challenges in India and South Africa.”

Updated Nov 16, 2012 03:38pm

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Comments (29) (Closed)

Nov 17, 2012 01:09pm
become a star and then act like one boy. too much talk and too little action
saghir Ayub
Nov 19, 2012 11:39am
Mr. Umar Akam, please have your actions speak louder than your words.
Gul Khan
Nov 23, 2012 09:16am
we are not that lucky
Gul Khan
Nov 23, 2012 09:15am
to clean up this mess(match fixing etc)no option but to get rid of akmal clans asap
Gul Khan
Nov 23, 2012 09:11am
Umer Akmal is very talented player but this boy has real attitude problem!!
Nov 22, 2012 07:33pm
I think Akmal is absolutely right. If he wont get a chance to play domestic cricket then where shouuld he play. Its an insane and very very poor decision from Basit ali .
Nov 16, 2012 10:02pm
made of couple of half centuries and look at this lad....god help us
Nov 16, 2012 11:33pm
I am not an Akmal brothers fan. In fact they got lucky by not getting stuck in the World of the News Scandal. I would go further and say that they should be tried for treason. However, little Akmal has been associated with SNGPL since 2007 and scored 2224 first-class runs for the department at 57.02. You have to give credit where it is due. His bat has done a lot of talking for Sui Gas !!
Nov 17, 2012 05:45am
He needs to be supported whole-heartedly for him to become a better player. He should be in the playing 11 in all formats of the game, and he should also be given all the opportunities to bat higher up in the order. Too much criticism and not much support - that's how you ruin a talent. The ground reality is that Pakistan does not have too many quality batsmen. So why not provide an environment where a genuine talent like Akmal can thrive? What is this illogical argument that he needs to learn to bat in the longer format? As if all others do it perfectly well. Back when I was in Pakistan, the only two batsmen in the 80s were Miandad and Imran who understood staying at the crease.
Mohsin Khan
Nov 17, 2012 05:10am
Dear Hello At this time, Younger Akmal is right. Personal liking and disliking shall be kept out from cricket. Umar only need some mental coaching and he will do good for Pakistan. He looks in fine touch in T20 WC and he shall be groomed mentally rather technically as he is no short of talent.
Nov 17, 2012 04:49am
Agree fully. And the brothers, as I read and hear of their involvement in corrupt practices on and off the field
Nov 18, 2012 03:19pm
well, all that lot of talent, mantra must be put aside. Only performance must be the criteria not the talent taken in a very subjective way, Omer has been given more chances than he deserves. In a cricket crazy nation like our's there is no dearth of talented batsmen. So omer may be asked to improve himself at domestic levels for some time, than he can make a come back based on performance.
Nov 17, 2012 02:22am
Hey get off his back. He can't score or run if he has to piggy back all the critics while playing/paying. It increases his weight , and he becomes sluggish. He is going to take another 500 years to take off. Give him a break. Otherwise he will tell his great backer, who is responsible to bring him in the first place. Could you tell me who is he?
Farooq Moghul, Tx, USA
Nov 17, 2012 01:54am
Utter nonsense, an average player of yesterday, Basit is telling a great talent to learn how to bat in longer version of the game by "dropping" him from the longer version, the first class season. Its insulting and Basit should be punished for that. It only happens when people who don't deserve get the power by luck but don't know how to use it. I listen Basit sometimes on Pak TV he doesn't seem to be a balanced person.
Nov 16, 2012 05:33pm
You have two options, take all the criticism as a fuel to excel by reassessing your game and strengthening the weak areas of your game (mostly mental), or keep shooting from the hips and be forgotten before your career " takes of the ground'. Hope you do not choose the later.
Nov 16, 2012 08:49pm
basit.s statment doesnt make sense of sugesting akmal to play club cricket for grtting back his form. its just like discouraging him
Nov 16, 2012 07:59pm
Great players like Hanif Mohammad, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas let their bats did the talking. These days we have nothing but loose canons like the Akmal brothers.
Capt C M Khan
Nov 16, 2012 06:44pm
You can only take the horse to drink water at the water hole, you cannot make it drink. Umar must be given some space and time to think what he wants. Basit is correct at what he thought fit for his team.
Nov 17, 2012 08:40am
So much of Politics killing our young cricketers like Umar Akmal career,Its time for our Umar Akmal to take asylum in Australia or UK and play for those countries.
Nov 17, 2012 08:45am
I think its better for Akmal brothers to leave cricket for good.
Nov 17, 2012 08:52am
you are talking of era in which they were not even born. Maybe they may relate to Javed Miandad, Saeed Anwer, Inzimmam, Yousuf illustrious era, but again no point motivating them as they are all spent forces. I would also like to include Afridi and Malik in the same category.
Nov 17, 2012 09:18am
Umar Akmal is a fine batsman, arguably one of the best Pakistan has ever got. He is paying the price for being Kamran Akmal's brother. He is right. If his career is disturbed at this stage by liking or disliking of the folks on Cricket Board, he may not take off. He is young, possesses a flawless batting technique (rare for Pakistani batsmen), plays all the strokes (rare for Pakistani batsmen), maintains a lively pace, and is a potential match-winner. I hope his talent is not wasted in PCB's zero-sum political games.
Nov 17, 2012 11:16am
Rehan's point is taken. However, please remember that players named by you, though excellent, have been involved in some controversy or the others. Those I named are spotless. Everyone knows of players like Sir Don Bradman but how many were around when he was playing?
Nov 19, 2012 12:17pm
I would like to beg to differ...It all is about rolemodels. Virat has role-modles in the team, likes of Tendulker, Dravid, Ghambir, etc, but what rolemodels have this poor guy, he gets more bashing then he deserves and he never gets his due share of appreciation when contributing to victory....
Nov 17, 2012 03:07pm
Umar Akmal and Virat Kohli started out at the same time. Look at where Kohli is and where Akmal is, says a lot about professionalism or the lack of it.
Nov 19, 2012 09:44pm
If actions speak louder than words than why is pen mightier than sword?!?
Nov 17, 2012 02:40pm
Pakistan se Baag! :)
Nov 17, 2012 12:53pm
It is unfortunate that we are wasting a highly talented player like Umar Akmal .He is young needs to be groomed but our senior crickters whether coaches like Basit Ali or captain or so called experts have never helped this balant talent to shine further.Sending him at no 6 ,dropping him of test side ,wasting in a useless super sixers combat and then you expect him to deliver the best.I have observed a lobby is consistently working against him .He is the best find of this decade,for Pakistan. Dont waste him you will do bad to Pak cricket .
Nov 17, 2012 07:20pm
when he starts messing up their game, they'll show him the door more firmly than we've ever even tried.