Former wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal has called on the Pakistan cricket team to shift their focus from personal friendships to team performance following their loss in the second T20I against England. The match, held in Birmingham on Saturday, saw Pakistan fall short, being bowled out for 160 runs in 19.2 overs while chasing a target of 184.

This defeat marks Pakistan’s eighth loss to England in their last 11 matches, raising concerns about the team’s current strategy and selection choices. Akmal, speaking on his YouTube channel, expressed his frustration with the team’s reliance on certain players despite their ongoing poor performances.

“Pakistan isn’t coming out of the circle,” Akmal said. “We are still thinking that Shadab has to play, so he plays. He has been playing for 2.5 years with this form and performance, but this is Pakistan’s team, not of some region or club.”

He urged head coach Gary Kirsten to take a stronger stance on player selection and performance. “Gary Kirsten has come; he should think about the form of certain players. Saim Ayub has been playing for 20 matches, look at his form. Other players are also here to play and have come with performances. You have taken 15 players with you, so play them.”

Akmal highlighted the strategic difference between Pakistan and England, praising the latter’s ability to execute their game plan effectively. “The difference between Pakistan and England is this: they came up with a brilliant plan. The way they defended the target with their bowling despite Pakistan having a deep batting lineup was impressive.”

Reflecting on his expectations from Kirsten, Akmal added, “I was expecting more from Gary as he has been a great coach. If the players aren’t changing, then he should show his power. This is what the management should do. Please come out of friendships. Play the deserving ones. Tell me why Abrar [Ahmed] still isn’t playing?”

Akmal, who was part of Pakistan’s squad that won the 2009 T20 World Cup, stressed the importance of team performance over individual interests. “Should we start thinking that Pakistan doesn’t have the ability to win against big teams? Or should the management start thinking about the team? Everyone plays for themselves, but if you don’t think of the team and start playing good cricket, how can you increase the level of your cricket?”

As Pakistan prepares for their upcoming matches, the call for a more merit-based selection process and a focus on team performance will be crucial in their efforts to turn their fortunes around in international cricket.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here