Pakistani batsman Umar Akmal continued his fall out of favor with the PCB’s management as he was once again overlooked for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.
According to sources, two more senior players — Muhammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad — will be omitted from the squad from the Test squad.
The source added:
The selectors, Arthur and the PCB Director of Cricket, Haroon Rasheed recently held a meeting to finalise list of players who will be invited for the training camp for the Sri Lanka series.
Unfortunately the selectors and Arthur still feel that Umar needs more time to convince them he is ready for a national comeback.
Since the retirement of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, PCB have pinned their hopes on the young players Haris Sohail and Usman Salahuddin to fill their shoes.
Current Situation of Umar Akmal
The 27 year-old Akmal, who has played in 16 Tests, 116 ODIs and 82 T20Is, was dropped from Pakistan’s successful Champions Trophy squad after failing two fitness tests upon arrival in the UK.
It is worth mentioning that Akmal also failed his fitness test for the West Indies series.
Currently, Umar Akmal is present in England. He’s training abroad and attending a rehabilitation course to not only improve his fitness but also overcome a longstanding knee problem.
Possible Replacements In Squad
The camp for the Sri Lankan series starts from 20th August in Lahore.
Hafeez and Shehzad are set to be restricted to ODI and T20 formats whereas the head coach, Arthur, wants to give another lifeline to left-handed opener Shan Masood in Test series.
The source further added:
There are a couple of other young players the selectors are keeping an eye on like Imam-ul-Haq, the nephew of chief selector, Inzamam ul Haq, for the camp while it has been decided to also give a try to off-spinner Bilal Asif in Test and ODI formats.
After the Champions Trophy win, young players are cementing their positions in the Pakistani side which means next few series will be absolutely crucial for many players if they want to retain their spot in the national side.