'We've always helped relatives who wanted to play': Umar Akmal reacts to Babar Azam's claim about being 'denied shoes'

Updated on Apr 09, 2022 09:34 PM IST

Babar Azam had said that he was denied a pair of joggers by his cousin during his formative years in the game.

Babar Azam; Umar Akmal(REUTERS/Getty)
Babar Azam; Umar Akmal(REUTERS/Getty)
ByHT Sports Desk, New Delhi

Pakistan's wicketkeeper-batter Umar Akmal has reacted to Babar Azam's claim that his cousin had denied him a “pair of joggers” during his formative years in cricket. Babar had spoken in detail about his struggles in early days during an interview with former Pakistan captain and batting great Inzamam-ul-Haq in January, and touched upon the incident as he discussed his early days in cricket. 

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"I asked my cousin to lend me a pair of joggers if he had it but he refused saying he didn't have one [pair of joggers]," Babar had said.

"I realised that I shouldn't have said this. I shouldn't have asked for the shoes," the current Pakistan captain had further added. 

The comment from Babar had drawn significant attention and his father Azam Siddique had to clarify the Pakistan skipper's statement. "A child would have asked for [the joggers] and the other might not have them or he didn't give [for whatever reasons], it is not a big deal," his father had written on his Instagram profile.

Roughly four months later, Umar Akmal – one of Babar's cousins – opened up on the Pakistan captain's comments. Akmal, who has played in 16 Tests, 124 ODIs and 84 T20Is for Pakistan, stated that he has no idea which of the cousins denied to give their shoes to Babar.

"I don't know which of our cousins refused to give shoes to Babar," he said in an interview with Pak Tv, as quoted by Geo. 

“We have always helped our relatives who wanted to play cricket. I have never said no to anyone. People who are close to me, know it very well,” Akmal further added.

Babar has been going through one of his best patches in international cricket so far; the Pakistan captain scored two centuries during the Test series against Australia, and followed them with another two tons during the three-match ODI series against Aaron Finch's side. While Pakistan lost the Test series 0-1, they defeated Australia 2-1 in the ODIs.

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