Umar Akmal fails fitness test, removed from Pakistan squad

The PCB had recently imposed a fine, besides issuing a warning to Umar Akmal over misconduct during a domestic tournament.

Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal has been sent back from England after he failed to pass two fitness tests.

“He has failed two fitness tests during the ongoing camp there in England ahead of Champions Trophy,” PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan told ESPNcricinfo. “So, since we have a policy not to carry unfit players, it has been decided to call him back and send a replacement. We have a deadline until May 25 so we are deliberating on the possible replacements.”

Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq also commented on the issue:

“We had set a fitness standard which isn’t really a tough one to start with,”. “But he still didn’t meet the average level. So, whoever the player is, whatever his performance is like, we could not select him. Akmal being dropped is a reprimand and it’s a major blow for any player. He is a good player, we needed him, but we had to take a decision.”
“He has fitness issues. He twice failed fitness tests in the conditioning camp in England. The selectors are now considering Haris Sohail and Umar Amin and one of them will replace Umar in the Champions Trophy squad,” Inzamam said.

Umar was also dropped for the tour to the West Indies in March after failing fitness tests in Lahore. The selectors then picked him as captain of the Punjab team in the Pakistan Cup one-day tournament last month, saying he had cleared fitness tests.

“Even before the tour to the West Indies he didn’t clear the fitness tests. He really needs to work in this area if he wants to get back into the Pakistan team.”
“He was declared fit for the Champions Trophy by the concerned people but when he reached Birmingham and fitness tests were taken he didn’t clear them,” Inzamam said.

Reflecting on his replacement, Inzamam said that Amin and Haris had performed well in the domestic circuit and that they are most likely to replace Akmal in the squad.

“Amin and Haris have performed well in the domestic circuit and that is why their names are under consideration to replace Umar,” Inzamam said

The younger brother of Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, Umar has been involved in a series of off-field controversies. In Birmingham, according to reliable sources, Umar got into an argument with the team management during the fitness tests, after which head coach Mickey Arthur informed the Pakistan Cricket Board and chief selector that he didn’t want Umar in the side.

It may be recalled here that the PCB had recently imposed a fine, besides issuing a warning to Umar Akmal over misconduct during a domestic tournament.

The Men in Green will begin their campaign when they lock horns with arch-rivals India in their first match of the Champions Trophy on June 4 in Birmingham, England.

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