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Kamran to face the axe

cricket Updated: Mar 31, 2011 11:03 IST

PTI
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Experienced Pakistani wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal may have played his last international match after his disappointing performance in the World Cup semifinal against India in Mohali.

A reliable source close to the national selection committee said that the selectors had decided before the match that if he didn't perform in the crucial game they would start looking for replacements.

"The fact is that the selectors had decided before the World Cup that Kamran would no longer be playing Test matches. But they had backed him to perform in the tournament so that he could be considered for limited over cricket," the source said.

According to the source if Kamran had performed in the semi-final he would have remained in contention to continue playing limited over cricket.

"But now according to what the selectors have decided his Pakistan career is virtually over as they are not happy with either his keeping or batting at this level," the source said.

"For a player who has been around since 2002, their appears to be no consistency or improvement in his keeping or batting and the selectors now believe it is time to find a replacement for him and move on," the source said.

Kamran, 29, has played 53 Tests, 137 ODIs and 38 T20 internationals but in recent times his wayward keeping abilities and inconsistent batting has disappointed the selectors as well as his fans.

The source said the selectors would definitely not be picking Kamran for the forthcoming tour to the West Indies for either format of the game.

"The selectors will rely on Adnan Akmal and Sarfaraz Ahmed for the West Indies tour that is now decided after the semi final today," the source said.

Kamran's repeated follies behind the stumps, including some vital dropped catches, have cost Pakistan team a lot and again yesterday his keeping was untidy while he scored just 19 runs opening the innings.

"The selectors will now also decide on the future of some senior players in the limited over teams as they now plan to blood more new players in one-day and T20 cricket on the West Indies tour," the source added.

Enigmatic fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar has already announced his retirement from international cricket after the World Cup and the Pakistan team management also didn't play him in the last four matches of the tournament.

Ironically Shoaib's ouster from the playing eleven also involved Kamran who had dropped two catches in one over from Shoaib against New Zealand leading to an argument between them in the dressing room and eventual disciplinary action against the temperamental fast bowler.