Thanks to a powerful players' clique within the Pakistan cricket team, off-colour Kamran Akmal may still play the Hobart Test against Australia despite his embarrassing performance in the previous match in Sydney.
Sources in the board told PTI that problems are brewing in the Pakistan cricket camp in Australia as captain Mohammad Yousuf and coach Intikhab Alam, on insistence of the group of players, are resisting instructions by the national selection committee to replace Akmal in the Hobart Test.
The selectors, with the consent of the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ejaz Butt, have already rushed young keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed to Australia with clear instructions that he must play in place of Akmal in Hobart.
"Just how unhappy the board and selectors were with Akmal's disastrous performance in Sydney was visible from the fact that they didn't even bother to consult the team management before deciding to send Sarfaraz to Australia," one well placed source in the board told PTI.
But once again the coterie of handful players is likely to prevail and it was the same set of players whose non-cooperation frustrated Younus Khan so much that he surrendered captaincy and withdrew from the team.
"Kamran Akmal is not as innocent as he looks. He has been an influential and central figure in creating this pressure group within the team. This same group is now pressurising the captain and coach to ensure that Akmal must not be dropped for the Hobart Test," the source disclosed.