Remember that time when Umar Akmal was the next great hope? Remember when he announced his entry on the world stage with a range of audacious shots and big scores? Remember when no one compared him to his contemporaries like Virat Kohli, Steve Smith or Kane Williamson because he was already more successful than them at the start of his career?
Those memories now seem a lifetime ago, plagued by a constant loop of watching Umar Akmal throw his wicket away and then make a forlorn face for the camera; those memories have been replaced by constant complaints of his batting order and his innumerable fitness issues. Instead of remembering how he used to have every shot in the book, we are now more likely to remember that he once claimed drinking water made him fat. Instead of remembering his confidence and poise, we are more likely to remember his many photos of eating grapes.
Staunch Ukmalians - of whom I was once one - would often argue that he was played in the wrong position and was being wasted. Indeed, he himself argued that he couldn’t be compared to Kohli because Kohli got to bat up the order instead of at six. One clever journalist asked him if he should then be compared to MS Dhoni, who did bat at six but Umar had no answers.
The Umar Akmal we once knew - the presumed prince of Pakistani batting - is long gone. In his place lies an unfit, lazy, petulant cricketer with a charge sheet longer than his stats list. So here below is an (almost) exhaustive list of Umar Akmal’s various fines and misdemeanours over a heavily checkered eight year career. If we missed something, do let us know!
“The Umar Akmal we once knew - the presumed prince of Pakistani batting - is long gone. In his place lies an unfit, lazy, petulant cricketer with a charge sheet longer than his stats list.”
Is amongst several players marked for major fines by a PCB inquiry committee after a disastrous tour of Australia. Umar Akmal is highlighted for allegedly feigning an injury and refusing to play in the final Test if his brother was dropped.
Footage emerges of Mazhar Majeed, the agent at the heart of the spot-fixing scandal, naming Umar Akmal amongst six other players who he claims work with him to commit spot-fixing.
Issued showcause notice by the PCB for giving an unauthorised interview to the media, where he complained about his position in the batting order.
Fined 50% of his match fee for “ignoring both on-field umpires while going for a change in gloves” during the WT20 semi-final against Sri Lanka.
Charged by police in Gulberg, Lahore after allegedly failing to stop at a traffic light and then engaging in a scuffle with a traffic warden. Was arrested before being released on bail.
Is among four players fined by the PCB for poor fitness.
Issued showcause notice for bringing “PCB and Pakistan Cricket into disrepute” after being accused of being caught at a brothel in Hyderabad. This incident launches the timeless meme of Umar Akmal’s face next to the text, “mei bahut guilty feel ker raha huun."
Is banned for one match (vs New Zealand) after breaking the clothing guidelines in the QeA Trophy for the third time in quick succession.
Dropped after a scathing report by outgoing coach Waqar Younis, who recommends that Umar Akmal “ be dropped from the side and made to re-earn selection through their domestic performances.”
While captaining the side, has a bust-up with Lahore Whites reserve teammate and son of LCCA secretary Wahab Dar, a reserve player who “failed to carry a kit”.
Fined by PCB after incorrectly describing teammate’s Junaid Khan’s absence from his side during the Pakistan Cup. Despite Junaid claiming to have informed the management, Umar said at the toss that “"I just found out when I walked into the ground that he [Junaid] is absent," Umar had said. "I'm very surprised. The manager and coach told me he's not going to be playing today. It's shocking news for me, as captain.”
Sent back from Champions Trophy squad after having failed the fitness test. Had previously failed the fitness test for the preparatory camp before being re-included for ‘proving his fitness’ during the Pakistan Cup.