The Akmal brothers and former Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur have had a frosty relationship, to say the least. The war of words has been going between both parties for the past year. During his time as Pakistan head coach, Arthur left out Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal from the team due to a variety of issues. One of the main factors behind their exclusion was the lack of fitness.
Kamran did not take kindly to the criticism and lashed out at Arthur for giving too much importance to fitness and not giving young talents their due during his stint with the national team. He even blamed Arthur for the mess Pakistan cricket is in currently.
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Now, Arthur has responded to the claims made by Kamran, saying that the wicket-keeper batsman failed two fitness tests and he doesn’t pay heed to whatever he says.
‘Just look at what happened to Kamran Akmal. Kamran Akmal is a comfort zone player. He couldn’t field. Sarfraz Ahmed was captain. He wasn’t going to be the wicket-keeper. We took him on a West Indies tour and he was average at best. Kamran Akmal failed two fitness tests. So to be honest, anything that the Akmals say, I don’t listen to at all. Anything they say, I just take with a pinch of salt,’ Arthur told Cricbuzz.
Arthur wasn’t a big fan of Kamran’s younger brother Umar also. Arthur opened up about his relationship with Umar Akmal and said that the cricketer needed a guiding hand during the start of his career.
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“It’s definitely too late for him [Umar Akmal] now. It’s sad because he is a likeable enough bloke but what he needed was a real firm hand at the start of his career to guide him properly,” Arthur told Pinch Hitter magazine.
He further opined, “I don’t think he got the right messages earlier in his career because if he had, he wouldn’t have gone down the route he has chosen to. He was frustrating to work with.”