‘He was frustrating to work with’: Former Pak coach names batsmen he had problems with
Controversy and Umar Akmal go hand in hand. For the past several years, Akmal has been involved in a variety of controversial incidents which has led to more talk about his behaviour rather than his cricketing talent. From fitness issues to behavioural incidents and now corruption charges, Akmal has seen it all. Despite being regarded as a prodigious talent, 29-year-old Akmal has been in and out of the Pakistan national team for several years now.
Former Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur wasn’t a big fan of the batsman and regularly asked him to improve his fitness standards. Now, Arthur has opened up about his relationship with Akmal and said that the cricketer needed a guiding hand during the start of his career.
“It’s definitely too late for him [Umar Akmal] now. It’s sad because he is a likeable enough bloke but what he needed was a real firm hand at the start of his career to guide him properly,” Arthur told Pinch Hitter magazine.
He further opined, “I don’t think he got the right messages earlier in his career because if he had, he wouldn’t have gone down the route he has chosen to. He was frustrating to work with.”
Pakistan’s head coach Misbah-ul-Haq had also urged troubled batsman Umar Akmal to discipline himself and focus on his cricket if he wants to revive his derailed career.
Umar could face up to a lifetime ban after he was charged for not reporting match-fixing offers, which led to his suspension in February.
The Pakistan Cricket Board charged him under their anti-corruption code. His 14-day deadline to reply ends later Tuesday.
“He has to take a decision whether he wants to remain like this... He has shown good performances but needs to improve his fitness, discipline, and commitment.”
Umar started his career with a bang, scoring a century on his debut in New Zealand in 2009, but frequent disciplinary problems cost him a place on the national side.
He was also charged and arrested after a scuffle with a traffic warden in 2014.
Three years later he was sent back from England for being unfit.