Left-handed batsman Haris Sohail was named as Umar Akmal’s replacement for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy to be held in England, the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Tuesday. Akmal has been instructed to return home to work on his fitness.
Akmal had been deemed unfit by the team management last week during a pre-Champions Trophy fitness camp in Birmingham. This is the second consecutive instance that he has been dropped from the side because of his fitness.
Akmal was dropped from the West Indian tour for failing to meet the fitness standards.
The PCB had called Sohail along with Umar Amin and Asif Zakir to undertake a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, earlier on Wednesday. Cricingif understands that the selection committee had an inclination towards Sohail, however, the team management in England wanted Umar Amin to replace Akmal.
It’s been a while since Sohail has featured in the ODI cricket. He last played in the format during Zimbabwe’s tour of Pakistan in 2015. Sohail has played 22 ODIs and averages 43 with 89 not out being his highest score. This is his first tour of the British Isles.
Sohail had a fruitful Pakistan Cup last month, scoring 236 runs in five matches. He scored three fifty plus scores, including a century, on the trot in the first three matches for Federal Areas, the side that went on to win the tournament.