The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has refuted to the allegations made by Umar Akmal with regards to his omission from the ICC Champions Trophy squad, and said that the middle-order batsman is making a bogus attempt to deviate attention from his own failures.
Akmal had accused Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur of abusing him and barring him from practicing at the National Cricket Academy (NCA).
In his allegations against the Pakistan head coach, Akmal maintained that he was dropped from the team for the Champions Trophy after unjustified warning and wasn’t allowed to take the fitness test.
Issuing a statement on Friday, the PCB said, “While making frivolous allegations against the national team management, Umar has made a bogus attempt to deviate attention from his own failings. Umar was given as many as seven chances to improve his fitness and match the standards of his teammates, laid out by the team management.”
“Umar was given a program to improve his fitness like other players before the West Indies tour and after he failed the tests in Lahore, he was left out of the team. After clearing another test before the squad selection on eve of the ICC Champions Trophy in England, Umar was included in the eventual 15-member squad.”
The board further stated that Arthur had placed Akmal in his white ball format plans and gave him repeated chances for redemption.
“Unfortunately the batsman remained incapable of reaching the requisite fitness level,” the statement said.
The statement further read that the PCB awaits Akmal’s response to the show cause issued to him and hopes that in the meantime, the “batsman will refrain from making baseless allegations”.
According to The Express Tribune, the middle-order batsman further claimed that Arthur verbally abused him in front of chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq. Akmal also claimed that other players were victims of regular abuse from the national coach.
The 27-year-old cricketer said, “Mickey Arthur abused me and used inappropriate words for me.”
Adding, Akmal said, “He has debarred me from the academy and told me to play club cricket. No player stepped in to ask him not to use such language for a Pakistan international. It’s not befitting of Arthur to abuse Pakistani players.”
However, Arthur had brushed aside all allegations levelled against him by Akmal by saying, “He wanted to use Grant Flower’s services for batting. I told him he must earn the right to use the support staff and should first play club cricket. Nobody here should be taken for granted.”
The right-handed batsman is known for creating controversies throughout his playing career, either relating to discipline or fitness. He has been involved in regular spats with team members, the most recent one with Junaid Khan. The player has also been dropped from the team often because of these concerns.