LAHORE - Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Umar Akmal was delighted with his recall to the Test squad to face Sri Lanka next month, after three years on the sidelines, but said he was baffled about why he'd been dropped in the first place. Umar, a significantly better keeper than his brother Kamran, who is not in the squad, last played a Test in 2011, against Zimbabwe. He averaged nearly 36 with the bat, and since then has been used as a limited-overs player.

Umar told "I'm really pleased with the call-up but at the same time I'm still confused as to why I was dropped in the first place after performing so well. Obviously someone must have thought that I wasn't good enough to be picked for the Test squad but I'm very grateful to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for all their support over the years.

"I'm also thankful to the new selection committee for their faith in me and giving me a chance to once again reclaim a place in the Pakistan Test side. I won't let the selection committee down, they've place trust in me and I will repay that faith to them. You always hope, you always believe and you never give up.”

Every time a Test squad was announced I'd be hoping, praying and waiting and now my chance has finally come.

"If I was told that I could only play one format for Pakistan, I would choose Test cricket. It's the toughest format, it provides cricketers with the biggest challenges and you learn the most about yourself in Test cricket. This is why I am desperate to re-launch my Test career and want to be a regular pick in the Pakistan Test side."

He went on to day that he was a far better batsman in 2014, compared to 2011: "This is definitely a different version to the one in 2011. Everyone will now see a more mature batsman and you will see a batsman who is more responsible and someone who understands his role in the team. Whatever role the team management want me to play I will respond to them. I'm a more mature cricketer now and that will definitely show in the series against Sri Lanka and beyond. This is a different Umar Akmal!"