Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal, who was once touted as the next big thing in gentleman’s game, is sweating it out on the regular basis – to work hard on his fitness, in order to return to the national team led by ICC Champions Trophy hero and wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed. (Read Here: Younis Khan Donates Iconic 10K Bat To Suppport Education In Pakistan).

“My complete focus is on my cricket and fitness,” Umar told the Pakistan media.

The 27-year-old Lahore-born middle-order batsman Umar, who has grabbed headlines for all the wrong reasons, has vowed to return to the team following his sheer hard work in England at the moment while working with his personal trainer.

“I have been concentrating on all the things that have made me fail in the past and I believe that has helped me improve,” Umar was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

Facing the wrath of Coach Mickey Arthur, Umar was sent packing to home from England, after failing to pass the fitness Test before the start of the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy.

“Yes, it was disappointing not to be part of the Champions Trophy team, but there were issues related to my fitness so I was sent back,” Umar remarked.

The right-handed Umar has failed to live up to the exceptions owing the rush of blood while opting for reckless shots.

Umar reiterated his prime focus is to get back to the national team while adding he is giving hundred percent – to meet the standard of fitness set by the Board.

“I want to return and make my parents and my country proud of me,” Umar maintained.

Moreover, the part-time wicket-keeper Umar was further overlooked from Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) central contract list, as he was surprisingly cleared while undergoing fitness Test at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore.

Umar Akmal last featured against Australia in ODIs, in January, this year. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

After making the admission of failing to meet the requirements proposed by the PCB, controversial Umar disclosed that he would be aiming to make the return on the basis of merit.

“Cricket is everything for me. It feels bad to be out of the team and without a central contract but I have nobody to blame but myself,” Umar concluded.

For Windies tour, Umar was omitted in March, this year from the squad after failing the fitness at the NCA. Interestingly, he was the only player to fail the test in a list of 31.

Following the knee injury, Umar has withdrawn from the High-Performance Camp which is currently being supervised and organised by the PCB.

Umar has featured in 116 One-day Internationals, 16 Tests and 82 Twenty20 Internationals. He has scored 3,044 runs in ODIs, 1,690 in T20Is.

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    Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Sportzwiki.com, who follows cricket like food after listening to running commentary on a transistor radio when he was only eight, and penned down the scorecard when he turned 11. He Tweets @TahirIbnManzoor

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