‘Out of favour’ Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal said on Sunday that he still believes he will receive a call to participate in the national team’s upcoming tour of England, despite him being left out of the Test squad.
In an interview with PakPassion.net, the 26-year-old middle order batsman said he still has hope of being called up for limited-overs format in England.
“Well the squads have not yet been announced for limited-overs leg of the tour of England,” he said.
“So for now, I am living in hope like I always do.
“Let’s see what happens in the coming weeks because that will give me a clearer picture regarding my future [in the national team].”
Akmal has represented Pakistan in 111 one-days and 79 T20s in the past.
However, he was dropped from the squad of 35-man probables to tour England due to lack of performances and disciplinary issues last month by newly-appointed chief selector Inzamamul Haq, who announced that the new selection committee would be stern in matters of discipline.
Taking a lesson from that, the 26-year-old said that in order to gain selectors’ attention again, he would have to exhibit strong performances wherever he plays and have faith in the meritocracy of the new selection committee.
“I just need to perform, get my head down and score lots of runs in whichever league I am playing in,” he said.
“At the moment my focus is on doing well for Leicestershire and then I will be playing in the Caribbean Premier League.
“I need to perform and catch the eye of the selectors; that’s all I can do and the rest is out of my hands.”
Nevertheless, Akmal lamented that the board and the management never showed him the support he needed to boost his confidence on the field.
“Confidence for a player comes from your captain, the management, the coaching staff, your cricket board and the media,” he said.
“Yet, sometimes I feel that I don’t get the backing and support, and that affects my confidence. It is often the case that playing in leagues around the world I am given more backing which boosts my confidence.”
The middle order batsman further urged local media to support Pakistani players rather than exploiting their flaws.
“I would urge our media to support Pakistani cricketers and help us in taking Pakistan cricket forward,” he said.
“The media needs to stop highlighting every little situation and making a big deal out of it.
“We cricketers have families too and it’s not nice for them to see negative stories being brought up and highlighted.
“If I receive support from the media, then it will have a positive effect on me and improve my results.”