PM Imran Khan must ask Ehsan Mani why Pakistan cricket is in dire straits: Kamran Akmal

Sohail Imran
Out-of-favour wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal. Photo: File

Out-of-favour cricketer Kamran Akmal thinks that Prime Minister Imran Khan should ask Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani why the standard of cricket in the country is deteriorating.

Akmal, 38, considered one of the better wicket-keeper batsmen, was unable to find a spot even in the sizable 29-man squad for the upcoming tour. He was ruing that and wondering why he is on the outs with the selectors when he made the remark about Mani.

In an interview with Geo Super, Akmal expressed his disappointment at being constantly ignored despite what he said were his stellar performances in the domestic circuit.

"I am not getting a chance despite my performances. The way I have been treated over the last five years is no secret," he said.

"The previous selection committee did not pick teams on merit. Performances were sideline and the sole selection criteria back then was personal likeness. The people in coaching and management setup over the last five-six years have hurt our cricket.

As the PCB's patron-in-chief, the prime minister should ask Ehsan Mani why the standard of cricket is in a downward spiral as he has entrusted him the responsibility to oversee the game. Ehsan Mani, too, should inquire why are teams composed over personal likeness and dislike.

Akmal, however, did not opt for a head-on collision with the incumbent setup, saying that he hopes Misbah-ul-Haq's regime would treat him differently as compared to the Mickey Arthur and co. 

"Misbah knows the value of performance and I’m hopeful that I’ll be picked in the future," he said.

Akmal, in theory, is in direct competition with Mohammad Rizwan and Sarfaraz Ahmed for the sole wicketkeeping spot in the national team. His batting prowess means through that he believes more than one of the three can play in the same line-up. 

"Having two or three wicketkeepers is not an issue. If they’re great batsmen, then this should be overlooked,” he said.

PM Imran must ask Ehsan Mani why cricket is in dire straits: Kamran Akmal