One-down at last, Umar Akmal continues to fail

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Last year, Umar Akmal had the audacity to complain to Imran Khan about not being played at the number three position in ODI cricket. Khan, who rarely gives his valuable cricketing advice, choosing instead to focus on his invaluable political advice, was on one of his few interactions with the Pakistan cricket team.

Cricket fans back then too felt that Umar Akmal was simultaneously suffering a bad case of attention-seeking and excuse-making. And while such a demand for intercession may have seemed not so bad coming from any other player, the fact that he has been complaining about this practically since the beginning of his international career in 2009 makes followers of Pakistan cricket roll their eyes.

And for all his talent, Umar Akmal really might not have done all that bad a job at the number three position. But his continued irresponsibility, lack of form or consistency and off the field scandals left the team with no choice but to leave Akmal squandering in the middle order, or at least that is how it must have felt to him.

Instead of making an impact in the position, he continued to decline and continued to ask for his desired spot, giving board officials much strife by asking for the number three position again and again on the media, on twitter and even during pressers and post-match presentations.

So much so, he was even tried at the number three spot on a number of occasions, and was met with resounding failure of epic proportions.

Now, after having picked a beef with Coach Mickey Arthur and practically ending his career, Akmal has managed to secure his coveted number three spot in his domestic career. And even as Ahmed Shehzad proves a point about the potency still left in him, Akmal continues to plummet, this time in a position he thought would give him the spotlight.

In yesterday’s semi-final, Akmal’s team won and will play the final on Friday, but no thanks to him. His run-a-ball, unbeaten 35 dragged his team down to a point where they couldn’t even get to the 150 mark. Moreover, he was involved in two run-outs, both clearly his fault.

With the Lahore Blues scoring 221 in their semi, Akmal might just be the difference between victory and defeat for the Whites. But hey, at least he’ll take the team down with him at number three in the batting line-up.