The GCSEs result was recently announced. Many students would have passed with flying colours, some students might have barely made it, and then there would also be students who fell short- way short of the finish line.
Now, this category of students who flunked has two further sub-categories.
One category of students is aware of their shortcomings, don’t blame others for the failure and want to make something of themselves by working hard. The second category consists of those who are not ‘sharamful’ of their failure and will tell you stories of how the universe conspired against them; how it was not their fault that they couldn’t cross the line and oh yeah they couldn’t care less about the results anyways.
The entire Umar Akmal saga, which unfolded over the past few days reminded me of the type of students described above. Umar Akmal is that student now, and it took a series of events for him to become insufferable, nauseating and controversial.
Umar Akmal has always been insufferable, nauseating and controversial
If you’ve somehow missed the previous episode of ‘Umar Akmal and how to shoot oneself in the foot’ let me update you before we move on to the current episode (which by the way has to be the most high voltage drama episode of the series yet).
Previously, we saw how the 27 year old cricketer was struggling to pass fitness tests, (to be precise, he managed to fail 7 fitness tests) and failing to dodge media queries on the topic of his health and fitness. This was probably not enough drama in Umar Akmal’s dictionary who seems to be a fan of Star Plus soaps. He was arrested for traffic violation in February 2014. A few months later he fought with a security guard at the Gaddafi stadium after the batsman was denied entry into the stadium. He was axed from the T20 squad after he attended a ‘dance party’ in Hyderabad, and was also issued a show cause notice over this issue. The list of Umar Akmal’s offences can just go on and on.
Umar has managed to fail 7 fitness tests
Here is a complete list of his unwanted achievements over the years.
Initially Akmal’s career plot line was a ray of hope for Pakistan’s batting woes when he made his debut in 2009; he averaged 44.43 in ODIs, 44.50 in T20s and 57.13 in test matches in that year alone. Unfortunately he couldn’t sustain the tag of a world class batting talent for long and over the years his batting average kept on falling while his controversy count was on the rise. The once star performer is now nothing more than comic relief.
In the current episode: just when we thought Umar Akmal could not hit a new low, he delivered a masterstroke- he never fails to impress his audience, does he? This time he locked horns with Pakistan team’s head coach, Mickey Arthur. According to Akmal, it is none other than Arthur who is deliberately keeping him out of the team. Well yeah, who knows Arthur might be planning to bring in some relative of his to replace Umar Akmal.
“The once star performer is now nothing more than comic relief”
Has it not occurred to Umar Akmal once that he has failed 7 fitness tests, and despite being given chance after chance where he has NOT delivered? Before becoming the only player out of 31 to not pass the fitness test before the tour of the West Indies; he played 5 ODIs in Australia in which his highest score was of just 46. Umar Akmal was again picked in the squad but was sent back to Pakistan from England after he managed to fail not one but two fitness tests leading up to the start of the Champions Trophy. For a player whose fitness is a huge question mark, he still has the audacity to blame everyone else but his own blunders and complacency which has brought him on the verge of being kicked out.
Umar Akmal is the only player out of 31 to not pass the fitness test before the tour of the West Indies
Let’s rewind to the tenure of Waqar Younis as head coach. If Mickey Arthur has an agenda against Umar Akmal, then I am not sure how Waqar was on the same page back then. Waqar mentioned in his report to PCB that it won’t be that big a deal if they had to sacrifice one Umar Akmal for the greater good. He felt that they could nurture a player instead who would feel proud to wear the star on his chest and represent Pakistan. Despite not being in the good books of the head coaches, the selectors kept their trust intact but Umar Akmal took every opportunity for granted. He has forgotten the key fact that playing for Pakistan is not the same as playing for some ‘muhallay ki team’. Infact even ‘muhallay ki teams’ these days are super competitive. They don’t keep players just on the basis of reputation but want the players to perform when needed.
Ex coach Waqar mentioned in his report to PCB that it won’t be that big a deal if they had to sacrifice one Umar Akmal for the greater good.
“Waqar felt that PCB should instead nurture a player who would feel proud to wear the star on his chest and represent Pakistan.”
For a minute let’s assume that it is actually PCB’s fault and Umar Akmal’s version of the events is true, I still fail to fathom the need for him to conduct a press conference against the board and the head coach. If he had issues and there was any truth to his claims, wouldn’t it have been wise to resolve the matter behind closed doors? It’s also high time PCB issues some sort of notice to journalists like Yahya Hussaini who thrive on controversies and force players to go full postal. Unfortunately our players are naive enough to fall prey to such cheap tactics.
It’s high time PCB issues some sort of notice to journalists like Yahya Hussaini
The final nail in the coffin was hit, when Akmal took to twitter, and further elaborated his side of the story a story which will hopefully mark an end to his cricketing career and give him the freedom to diss his teammates on talk shows without the fear of being summoned by the PCB or being issued show cause notices.
Moreover, the current political scenario is in play as well; Umar Akmal has taken inspiration from the disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and has no qualms in playing the victim card, repeating the famous catch phrase, “mujhay kyun nikala”.
Umar Akmal has taken inspiration from the disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and has no qualms in playing the victim card
It would be unfair to not quote Misbah ul Haq here; during running between the wickets in an ODI match against the West Indies in 2013, Misbah yelled at Umar Akmal for refusing to run an easy second run, “laant hai terey tay”.
Maybe go into isolation or hire a new PR team or visit a psychiatrist or improve your attitude and fitness issues or do whatever the heck you want to but for now just shut up, Umar Akmal!