ISLAMABAD - Pakistan wicketkeeper batsman Kamaran Akmal is shocked and heartbroken over his omission from the national squad for the tour of Sri Lanka.
In an exclusive interview with The Nation on Thursday, Kamran said: “Last year, I was very much part of the national squad, which played the World T20 Cup in Bangladesh. Although my batting in the mega event was not exceptional, yet I performed well with the gloves. The matter of the fact is that no one except Ahmed Shahzad and Umar Akmal performed well in the mega event, but unfortunately the axe fell only on me, which is quite astonishing.”
“I always played for the country and never even thought for a while for personal records or personal goals. National cause and performing as a unit always remained my top priority and I always prefer to deliver for the country in all the formats so I deserve better treatment from the board and the selectors,” he added.
“It was quite unfortunate that I was not even invited for the national camp established at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) at Lahore. They should have at least invited me like others to the camp. If I failed to perform according to set standards, then they could have dropped me from the touring squad. The matter of the fact is I was never given the batting order, which suits my style of play. Before Misbah, I had played under Inzamam, Shoaib Malik, Younus Khan and Afridi and I had always scored loads of runs under their captaincy at No 3 or opener. The most interesting thing in the entire scenario to note is when Misbah was vice captain, he always advocated Kamran should open the innings, but ever since he was handed over the captaincy, he completely backed off from his earlier stance,” he said.
“I don’t know I was opening the innings and playing at No 3 in South Africa just before the T20 World Cup and also in the practice matches against Scotland and Ireland, but when the mega event started, suddenly my batting order was kept on changing. I am not making lame excuses to justify my position, but facts are facts and everyone can check what I am claiming, the reasons best known to Misbah and the team management. I was always put under pressure when it comes to batting order,” he stated.
“When Shoaib Malik was captain in 2007, he asked me to open the innings against South African bowling attack in Lahore and I responded to the captain’s confidence with lot of consistent performances. If I could open against one of the world hostile bowling attacks then why I was not considered to bat at the top order by the current skipper. Who is going to seek explanation from Misbah, why he ignored all my past records, all my brilliant knocks, which all came as opener or batting at No 3? If a player is not utilized according to his potential and someone wants to get rid of him, then he should be told directly but it makes no sense of frustrating a player and put him under physiological pressure,” Kamran said.
“No one could even think about playing under unwanted, undue pressure, expecting over-the-moon performances from him. I was declared the best player of the domestic circuit last year with my exceptional performances both with willow and gloves, but I was totally overlooked. Only two or three T20 internationals are not enough to judge a player’s performance. I had always given more than 100 percent and played crucial part in helping the team getting out of tricky situations and guide the team towards victory, but no one bothered to give a second thought to my unmatched performances. It hurts despite giving top performances and played out your hearts, you are dropped from the national side without any solid reason.”
“I am a born fighter and I will not give up. I know people have faith in my abilities and I also have great passion and motivation, which will help me a great deal in coming out of this lean patch. I will spend more time in the nets, working on my wicketkeeping and giving more attention towards my batting. I never stopped practicing even in the worst days and I would keep on pressing hard and soon will force my way back into the national squad. I am hungry and want to prove a point to all and I will shut my critics’ mouths with sensational performances and will be representing Pakistan cricket team sooner rather than later. I don’t want to criticize anyone but I will prove my worth very soon,” Kamran concluded.