2017 ICC Champions Trophy | Inzamam | Mickey Arthur | Umar Akmal

2017 ICC Champions Trophy: Umar Akmal’s Fitness Test Row Could Cause Confrontation Between Arthur and Inzamam

Pakistan middle-order batsman Umar Akmal was sent home on Sunday (May 21), after failing the fitness test in his second attempt in England during their eight-day training camp at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

The reports suggested that Lahore-born batsman’s omission from 2017 ICC Champions Trophy could create the rift between Pakistan Cricket Board’s national chief selector Inzaman-Ul-Haq and its head coach Mickey Arthur.

Interestingly, it was the head coach Mickey Arthur himself, who ordered Pakistan team trainer Grant Luden to conduct fresh fitness test of Umar after he reached Birmingham, where the mega event will be jointly held by England and Wales from June 1st, as the tournament will kick off at The Oval where the hosts will take on Bangladesh.

As per the reports in Dawn, the South African recruit Arthur was disappointed with the first test that was conducted in Lahore before the team board a flight to the United Kingdom.

According to the newspaper, Umar had initially failed the fitness during the short conditioning camp in Lahore and was not considered for the West Indies tour which followed.

Earlier, under the supervision of Inzamam himself, it was National Cricket Academy doctor Saboor, who had conducted the fitness test in Lahore, according to the Pakistan media.

The controversial batsman Umar had a decent outing in the recently concluded Pakistan Cup in which he led Punjab. The reports further added Inzamam was keen to induct Umar into the 15-member squad for the 50-over competition which further didn’t seem well Arthur, who opted to supervise the second test.

Seemingly, to create a direct confrontation between Arthur and Inzamam, PCB’s chairman Shaharyar Khan has also swung into action while stating the matter of Umar would be thoroughly investigated.

Moreover, Umar was replaced by left-handed batsman Haris Sohail after Umar Amin and Asif Zakir were also in the fray, as both had a good outing during their domestic campaign in Pakistan, respectively.

The occasional wicket-keeper Umar, who was touted as Pakistan’s next star, has featured in 116 One-day Internationals in which he has amassed 3044 runs at an average of 34.59 which further included two-hundred and 20 half-centuries.

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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. Twitter, Instagram: TahirIbnManzoor