Nearly 9 years ago, when Umar Akmal scored a hundred on his Test debut against a potent New Zealand attack in their own turf, he was touted as the next big thing in Pakistan cricket. Today, he has almost faded away and finds himself on the sidelines of all three formats from the national team.
Akmal, who hasn’t featured in an international match since January 2017, is currently playing for his home-based franchise (Lahore Qalandars) in the third edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). In the 5 games of this year’s PSL, Akmal has aggregated only 57 runs at an abysmal average of 11.40. No wonder, Qalandars skipper Brendon McCullum feels that Akmal hasn’t justified his potential.
In an exclusive interview with ESPNCricinfo, McCullum termed Umar Akmal as a ‘complicated guy’ and added that he has underachieved as a cricketer thus far.
“Umar Akmal is a complicated guy. He has troubles, well-documented troubles throughout his career.” McCullum was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“I think he is an incredible talent, he has done some special things in his career. But if his career was to finish now, it would be fair to say that he has underachieved and that’s the hard message and sometimes you need a hard message. As a cricketer, you need to be honest with yourself and you need those who appeared to be honest with you and you need to be a recipient of that as well,” he explained.
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After suffering six consecutive defeats in the ongoing Pakistan Super League, Lahore Qalandars managed to roll over the Multan Sultans and the Karachi Kings in their last two games. Qalandars are currently placed on the bottom of the points table. With just two games to go before the PSL eliminators in Lahore, the McCullum-led side has bleak chances of making it to the play-offs.