KARACHI: Out-of-favour Pakistan cricketer Umar Akmal has admitted that it was his fault and no one else’s that he failed his fitness tests and was excluded from the ODI squad for the ongoing 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales.
The 27-year-old middle-order batsman was cut out from the side after his fitness levels were deemed below-par twice in the span of two months, leaving the selectors with no choice but to replace him with all-rounder Haris Sohail.
Akmal, however, has now owned up to his mistake and revealed that in order to rectify it he has been working on his fitness diligently.
“Since returning from England, I have been training and working hard at National Cricket Academy (NCA) on my fitness with coaches and nutritionist there,” Akmal, who is in Karachi to play ramazan cricket for Dollar East, told The Express Tribune.
About his failed fitness tests, he said: “When a player fails a fitness test it’s always his own fault. The board and the management are doing a great job keeping fitness their main priority, and it has been made clear that a player can be a part of the national team only if he is fully fit.”
This policy of the selectors, Akmal claims, has now been taken to heart by him, and it will show in his fitness levels in future.
“The board had made its guidelines about fitness very clear and every player knows that he has to follow them,” said Akmal. “But if he fails then he has to live with the consequences. I have been working hard and there has been an improvement in my fitness and I am trying all I can to make a comeback in the national team.”
He further said that playing the ramzan tournament is another way to boost his fitness. “Ramzan cricket is quite different and demands its players to be very fit as sometimes you have to play in the heat and while fasting,” he said. “My aim is to gain maximum fitness in this tournament and be back in the national fold before the next series.”