Monday, January 11, 2010

Player Power Rears Its Ugly Head Again?

Oh no! That was my first reaction to hearing the news on tv last night that Umar Akmal, basically the only Pakistani batsman currently worth watching out for, had pulled a back muscle in practice, and was a doubtful starter for the upcoming Test in Hobart. If there was any further reason NOT to invest time in watching the match against Australia, this had to be it.

Umar Akmal: boy wonder leaves us wondering

Then, this morning comes this explosive piece in The News from it's regular, and very credible, correspondent Khalid Hussain. Here's the crux of it:

"HOBART: Umar Akmal on Sunday complained of a stiff back, making himself a doubtful starter for Pakistan’s third and final Test against Australia starting here from Thursday.

However, ‘The News’ has learnt through reliable sources that the 19-year-old batsman could be faking the problem in a bid to pressurize the team management to retain Kamran Akmal — his elder brother — for the Hobart Test."

I had sort of wondered how Umar would take the scorn being heaped upon brother Kamran and the calls for his replacement by young keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed. But if this report is true, it would mean Kamran is now using his 19-year-old brother to blackmail the management into persisting with him. This is now getting too much!

Kamran Akmal: one of his three butter fingered drops against Michael Hussey (Source: Getty / Herald Sun)

"Player power" is the euphemism given to the constant intrigues within the Pakistan dressing room, which have been at the root of the Pakistan cricket team's dismal history with undeserving selections and appointments. It has to be remembered that Younis Khan's withdrawal as captain before the New Zealand - Australia tour was strongly rumoured to be motivated by similar intrigues. And if the stories are to be believed, Kamran Akmal - along with Mohammad Yousuf and Misbah-ul-Haq - were among the foremost initiators of the unsaid revolt against Younis. The saddest part of this whole episode (once again, one should add the qualification, "if true") is that someone as young and promising as Umar Akmal has been sucked into this mess.

Adding fuel to the speculation is the following:

"Kamran, it seems, is confident that he will play in Hobart. “Inshallah, definitely, for this upcoming Test match ... I will perform very well. I will play the third Test match and more matches for my country.”

Kamran said that he is aware of the strong criticism back home but was quick to add that he remains focussed on the next Test.

“I know the people are very disappointed for this performance in the Sydney Test...(But) I’m concentrating on calming down and performing well in the next Test match.”

Kamran’s upbeat mood indicates that he is getting much-needed support from the Pakistan dressing room."

Could Kamran really be such an intriguer? Suffice it to say, if the PCB gives in to this kind of blackmail once again, we can all kiss any hopes for Pakistan cricket goodbye.


Shahab Riazi said...

Intikhab is against keeping him according to cricinfo. Yousuf may back him but MoYo does not have the backbone to stand up for him under such pressure. So, the stalemate is not possible, in my opinion.

Ahsan said...

You didn't mention the biggest conspirator: Shoaib Malik.

Reverse Swing said...

well if it is the case that Kamran dragging Umar in this it should be stopped somehow as it could prove very dangerous for the young talent and Pakistan cricket.

and these two guys Kamran and Shoaib Malik are always mentioned in such kind of controversies over the years, what the hell is matter with them ?

Also read a news about Kamran doing baby sitting at night's of Sydney test not getting enough sleep??? What the hell unbelievable?

Anonymous said...

Comon, do you really thing that cricket is a game where two teams of 11 men compete fairly....ask any ounter or bookie..or just watch how the odds change....the whole thing is like WWF wrestling...rigged so that the stake holders can make money....