Umar Akmal has managed to attract yet another hullabaloo this Wednesday. In a media briefing, he told the reporters that he was verbally abused by the team’s head coach Mickey Arthur. He claimed that the incident took place in front of the team’s chief selector, Inzamam ul Haq, and other senior players. He claimed he only wanted to play for the national academy.

This needless controversy only disincentives international coaches from coming to Pakistan, and mars the sport that is already struggling to stay alive in a bad security climate. Umar Akmal has failed to remain fit and be able to qualify for any international league. Thus he was told by the head coach to play club level cricket rather than coming to the academy and using their time and resources. Arthur has denied any offensive remarks.

Akmal seems to have forgotten his chronic fitness issues in the midst of this. He not only did not qualify for the Champions Trophy in Birmingham after failing two consecutive fitness tests, he also was dropped from the squad for a series against the West Indies in April because his was unfit. The head coach probably has no personal grudge against the player while Akmal is known for his attitude problem. In 2014, he was detained at a local police station because he got into an argument with a traffic warden over breaking a traffic signal. He also got into an argument with security personnel in Faisalabad, and was arrested from an event in Hyderabad.

A position in the team needs to be earned, and a player must be fit for that. The selection process must be respected and players must also keep in mind that coaches have the right to scold players. We treat our cricket sportsmen as national heroes, and with such reverence due, fans and supporters deserve to see better behaviour rather than public drama.

PCB has issued a show-cause notice to Akmal, which will only prove his lack of acceptance of his own mistakes.