Umar Akmal in a soup over outburst against Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur
Umar Akmal had criticised Pakistan cricket team head coach Mickey Arthur for allegedly using ‘bad language’ against him while now allowing him to use National Cricket Academy facilitiesUpdated: Aug 17, 2017 15:12 IST
Umar Akmal has been issued a showcause notice by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after his latest outburst against Mickey Arthur, the team’s head coach, stating that the latter used abusive language against him.
According to Akmal, who last featured in a Test for Pakistan back in 2011, Arthur had dismissed him in a demeaning manner after he wanted to use facilities at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) stating he should “earn the right” to use them.
Akmal had opted out of NCA’s high performance camp owing to a knee injury and claims to have informed Mushtaq Ahmed, the NCA head coach as well before heading off to England to regain fitness with his personal trainer.
However, even though he was back before the five weeks he had excused himself for, Akmal says he was stunned to find the manner in which he was given the snub stating that coaches told him they wanted to prioritise working with “centrally contracted” cricketers.
“I had gone to England for rehabilitation of my knee injury,” Akmal was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. “After I recovered, I went to the NCA to start working on my fitness and training. But the coaching staff doesn’t want to work with me at all. When I asked why all those international coaches didn’t want to work with me, they responded that they wanted to prioritise working with players who had central contracts.
“I said that I too am an international Pakistan cricketer, and if my fitness is lacking - and I admit that along the way my fitness has been found wanting - they should help me.”
Akmal last featured in an ODI for his country in January this year but failed to make a cut for the Champions Trophy squad where his side ended up as the champions. Akmal was dropped because of his poor show in the fitness tests, something that has become a hallmark in Arthur’s tenure with the side.
“I then went to talk to the chief selector (Inzamam), but he referred me to Mickey Arthur. Arthur took me back to Inzi bhai’s room and started scolding me and using bad language in front of Inzi bhai, which I found demeaning and insulting,” he added.
“It’s not even my fault, and I find it painful that anyone should be allowed to swear at me. I accept my fitness isn’t up to the mark, and I am trying to work on it, and I asked to be allowed a trainer to help me. But Mickey said I shouldn’t even have come to the NCA, and should be playing club cricket instead.”
Arthur, however, brushed off the allegations stating they were nothing but “a few home truths.” Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, the 49-year-old said: “I did tell him [Akmal] a few home truths and said he was always looking for excuses instead of looking at himself. I also told him that he had to earn the right to use our support staff because he is not a contracted cricketer. He can’t just walk in here and demand what he wants.”
First Published: Aug 17, 2017 13:02 IST