Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal has been asked to return home from England after he twice failed fitness tests, days ahead of the upcoming Champions Trophy. The Pakistan team is undergoing a conditioning camp in Birmingham. Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq confirmed to the media in Lahore on Monday that Umar was being sent back.
“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.
“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.
Umar, who turns 27 this month, has played 16 Tests, 116 ODIs and 82 T20 internationals but has still not cemented his place in either format. 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. Inzamam stressed that Umar had also been unfit during the limited over matches in Australia last winter and the team management had warned him to pay attention to his fitness.
“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.”