Umar Akmal    AFP
Umar Akmal AFP

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has formed a three-member committee to look out into the accusations made by middle-order batsman Umar Akmal against head coach Mickey Arthur. The committee comprises three members: director of cricket operations Haroon Rasheed, director of media Amjad Bhatti and the PCB’s in-house legal advisor Salman Naseer. The claims made by Akmal can be verified quite easily, given the witnesses. However, the committee is likely to face some logistical difficulties during the course of its proceedings as chairman of selectors Inzamam-ul Haq, who is a key witness to the alleged “abusive language” Arthur subjected Akmal to, is out of the country performing Hajj while the Pakistan head coach is away on holiday and not expected to return till the second week of September, reports ESPNcricinfo.

Akmal has accused Arthur of abusing him and barring him from practicing at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). In his allegations against the Pakistan head coach, Akmal maintained that he was dropped from the team for the Champions Trophy after unjustified warning and wasn’t allowed to take the fitness test. Earlier, former Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis had advised the PCB not to form any inquiry committee but give the middle-order batsman a rehab program to play domestic cricket and train for six months to a year and then comeback to top level cricket with full fitness and form.”The current issue between Umar and Arthur should be sorted out with mutual understanding, and there is no need for any inquiry,” he said.

The legendary fast bowler further said that he did not believe that Arthur had abused Umar intentionally.”Every coach could be a bit harsh with the players but only for their own benefit,” he said.”Umar’s father has also admonished his son at times, so this is not a big matter. It also seems that frustration has caught up with Umar because he is not getting chances to play international cricket,” he added. The PCB has refuted to the allegations made by Akmal with regards to his omission from the ICC Champions Trophy squad, saying that the middle-order batsman is making a bogus attempt to deviate attention from his own failures.

Issuing a statement last Friday, the PCB said, “While making frivolous allegations against the national team management, Umar has made a bogus attempt to deviate attention from his own failings. Umar was given as many as seven chances to improve his fitness and match the standards of his teammates, laid out by the team management.” Meanwhile, the cricket board awaits Akmal’s response to the show cause issued to him and hopes that in the meantime, the “batsman will refrain from making baseless allegations”. Earlier, Arthur had brushed aside all allegations levelled against him by Akmal by saying, “He wanted to use Grant Flower’s services for batting. I told him he must earn the right to use the support staff and should first play club cricket. Nobody here should be taken for granted.”

Akmal is known for creating controversies throughout his playing career, either relating to discipline or fitness. He has been involved in regular spats with team members, the most recent one with Junaid Khan. The player has also been dropped from the team often because of these concerns.