Pakistan T20 skipper Shahid Afridi has appealed to the PCB to include middle-order batsman Umar Akmal in the squad for the upcoming T20 series against England, a reliable source has revealed.
According to the source, the flamboyant all-rounder wants the PCB to complete the disciplinary hearing against Umar quickly after the 25-year-old batsman was allegedly involved in activities which ‘brought disrepute to Pakistan cricket’ while he was featuring for domestic side SNGPL in Hyderabad in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam trophy.
“Umar is an important part of Afridi’s plans for the Pakistan’s World T20 campaign next year,” said the source.
“He has contacted chief selector Haroon Rasheed to expedite Umar Akmal’s return to the T20 side.
“Afridi believes that if Umar is innocent he should join the Pakistan squad on urgent basis,” added the source.
The PCB website on Thursday released a statement about the Umar Akmal episode.
“Umar Akmal was in contention for a place in the T20 squad, but he was not considered following the board issuing him a show cause notice after the press reports revealed that he had brought PCB and Pakistan Cricket into disrepute,” the statement said.
Chief selector Haroon Rasheed confirmed Umar’s axing.
“Umar Akmal had been pencilled in for selection but he has subsequently been dropped on instructions from the board,” added Haroon Rasheed.
Afridi will be back in action for Pakistan when they meet England in a three-match T20I series which kicks off on November 26.
The all-rounder will also be leading the team at next year’s World T20 to be staged in India.