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Pak losing patience with Akmals

Umar Akmal, the young sensation in Pakistan's great tradition of batting, may learn that saying the hard way by being dropped in Pakistan's penultimate league encounter against Zimbabwe on Monday. Amol Karhadkar reports.

india Updated: Mar 13, 2011 00:54 IST
Amol Karhadkar

Once is a mistake, twice is crime. And crime leads to punishment.

Umar Akmal, the young sensation in Pakistan's great tradition of batting, may learn that saying the hard way by being dropped in Pakistan's penultimate league encounter against Zimbabwe on Monday.

Even though the Pakistan team management is likely to justify Umar's exclusion which is "more or less certain" by referring to it as a "precautionary measure" in the wake of his injured finger, it was learnt that Umar is "set to be punished" for faking injury.

After elder brother Kamran, who is the only specialist stumper in Pakistan's squad, yet again displayed his inability to get the basics of wicketkeeping right that led to his team's humiliating loss against New Zealand on Tuesday, skipper Shahid Afridi had said Umar, a part-time 'keeper, is likely to don the gloves against Zimbabwe.

In Pakistan's first practice session after the depressing loss, Umar hurt his index finger while fielding and did nothing but participate in the team's warm-up during Friday's marathon practice session and Saturday's optional practice.

Scans on Umar's injury have revealed no major damage. The team management was reportedly convinced that Umar was "faking an injury" to save his elder brother's ouster from the team.

It isn't the first time that the Akmal brothers have been involved in a fake injury scandal. After Kamran dropped three catches and a run-out led to Pakistan losing a Test against Australia from a dominant position in Sydney in 2009, Umar was tipped to don the gloves in case additional glovesman Sarfaraz Ahmed failed to make it to Hobart in time for the next match.

However, Umar reported a back spasm, allegedly to save his elder brother's place in the side.

Once medical tests revealed there was nothing wrong with Umar's back, he played the game while Kamran was benched until his replacement arrived.

Pakistan manager Intikhab Alam hinted that Umar could not be considered for the Zimbabwe tie.

"He has been advised two days' rest and a decision on his availability will be taken on the day of the game," Alam said on the sidelines of Pakistan's extended training session on Saturday.