SHARJAH: Despite being in scintillating form with the willow, it is almost certain that Kamran Akmal is unlikely to be playing for Pakistan again if the national team head coach Mickey Arthur keeps to his word.

During Friday night’s post-match media conference here at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, the Pakistan coach was asked whether the 36-year-old wicket-keeper/batsman merits a recall after he had blasted a brilliant unbeaten 107 against Lahore Qalandars, while steering defending champions Peshawar Zalmi to the PSL playoffs.

Arthur came straight to the point.

“To be brutally honest I really don’t think Kamran fits into our plans going forward with a young team into the [upcoming] matches against the West Indies. There’s no doubt in my mind about his abilities as a very fine batsman and he’s form has been awesome in this PSL. He’s one of those guys who never says never and he played beautifully against Lahore and was truly outstanding.

“But then the same old question that comes to mind is where will Kamran field? Because Sarfraz Ahmed would keep wickets and he’s the Pakistan captain. To be fair to Kamran, he really scored a wonderful century but we got to be realistic as well,” Arthur replied.

“Pakistan are the world No. 1 T20 side at the moment and so there won’t be too many changes for that series against the West Indies, I guess,” he added.

Kamran is the leading run-getter in the current edition, as he was last year when he scored 353, with 347 runs ahead of Tuesday’s first eliminator clash Quetta Gladiators in Lahore.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2018

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