Former chief coach, Waqar Younis has urged the cricket authorities to drop Umar Akmal from the Pakistan team and blamed Shahid Afridi for the side’s run of T20 defeats against England, New Zealand and in the Asia Cup and World T20.
In a hard-hitting report on his two-year tenure as Pakistan coach, Waqar has directly blamed flamboyant allrounder, Afridi’s poor form, captaincy and attitude for the national team’s recent poor run.
The defeats led to the sacking of the national selection committee and resignations of Waqar and Afridi as coach and captain of the national T20 side.
In his full report, the excerpts of which were leaked out in the media and led to his resignation last month, Waqar specifically mentions Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad and Afridi and has advised the authorities to stop feeding off egos.
On Akmal, Waqar is very critical and describes him as an indisciplined player.
“Umar Akmal was asked by Haroon Rasheed (former chief selector) to come the next day for fitness test to join the team in Sri Lanka for ODIs, instead he chose to catch a flight to Caribbean for a lucrative league without informing anyone.
Few months later, when he was caught in the Hyderabad incident or misbehaving with his domestic team coach, all times he managed to retain his place back in team. Is this what criteria we are setting for selection of new players?,” Waqar wrote in his report.
“Andrew Symonds was a very talented player for Australia or Kevin Peterson for England but due to their behaviour they were dropped and never picked again irrespective of their talent.
Are we bold enough to take this step or do we fear media or pressure from different people to play certain players? I can assure you that sacrificing one Umar Akmal will allow us to develop other players who can truly and proudly wear the star on their chest and represent Pakistan,” Waqar said.
On the national team’s poor T20 performances, Waqar claims it was due to poor captaincy.
“We lost New Zealand, Asia Cup and T20 World Cup due to poor captaincy. On several occasions I had made it clear that Shahid Afridi was not performing with bat, ball or captaincy but I was not listened to. Poor tactics, really cost us matches. Meeting was held after the NZ T20 series where the boys emphasised that they felt confused with what the captain was telling them to do,” the report said.
“Shahid Afridi did not attend few meetings or practice, a captain leads from the front, not like this. It was unfair how he played Mohammad Nawaz during the game which destroyed the youngster’s confidence.