Out of favour wicketkeeper-batsman, Umar Akmal is reportedly facing punishment from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), for misbehaving during the fitness test at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), where he not only exposed himself in front of the trainer, but also asked “where’s the fat”.
PCB have been made aware of the incident, and it is believed that the authorities are looking to sanction the needed punishment. The 29-year-old is now on the verge of being debarred from the country's next domestic tournament.
Akmal, after failing one of the fitness tests, exposed himself in frustration, but his elder brother, Kamran Akmal, defended him by saying it was simply a "misunderstanding".
Kamran, in the context, too finds himself in the hot water with the board as he along with Salman Butt failed the fitness test by a big margin. While the former skipped two fitness tests, the latter, on his part, is said to have barged out of the test when his request of rescheduling the procedure was denied.
The Akmal brothers have time and again found themselves in the headlines due to their fitness. One can remember the incident, which dates back to 2017, when Umar – playing under Mickey Arthur – was sent back home during the Champions Trophy after failing a fitness test.
PCB, now under the watchful eyes of Misbah-Ul-Haq, have prioritized the fact that the players need to up their fitness level on only in the internationals circuit, but also in domestic cricket. Misbah, since taking over from Arthur, has taken some significant leaps towards the betterment of cricket in the country, and as per his regulations, each team is required to take fitness tests on a quarterly basis.
This time around, Central Punjab’s team was invited at the NCA, and Kamran was scheduled to appear on January 11. However, with his photoshoot for Peshawar Zalmi lined up on that date, the procedure was rescheduled on January 20. On that day of asking, he pulled out stating that he is down with a fever.
On January 28, the brothers appeared and failed by a significant margin.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Dibgyanshu Sarkar