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Trio could be scolded for selection criticism

Umar Akmal, recalled for the West Indies tour, thought about quitting the game at 23.

Umar Akmal, recalled for the West Indies tour, thought about quitting the game at 23.

Recently recalled Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi and batsman Umar Akmal along with former skipper Shoaib Malik, who was dropped from the national side for the West Indies tour, could be reprimanded by PCB for criticising their selection decisions in media.

Afridi, Akmal and Malik criticised PCB on selection decisions and a board source said that the statements of all three players were being examined to see if “No player is supposed to criticise the selectors, management or board officials and we are presently reviewing their statements to see if they have broken the code of conduct,” the source said.

Malik, who was axed from the West Indian tour after showing indifferent form in the Champions Trophy, told reporters that he didn’t deserve to be dropped from the national side.

“I don’t think it is fair that you drop a player after just one or two series. A player must be given a full and proper run to prove himself. Anyone can have a bad time in a series or two,”

Malik said. Malik is still expected to be in the Caribbean to take part in the inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League which starts at month-end. “I don’t think I deserved to be dropped because I had performed reasonably well in South Africa and had three bad matches in the Champions Trophy,” he said.

Malik feels his form has been affected ever since he was asked to bat lower down the order and said now he has decided to bat in the top four whether he plays for Pakistan or domestic cricket.

“I prefer to bat in the top four and that is what I am going to do from now on,” Malik said.

Afridi, made a comeback to the national side after being dropped for the Champions Trophy, said it was ironical that after playing 17 years for Pakistan he was unsure whether he would be playing the next match.

“Even after 17 years I don’t know whether I will be in the team for the next match. Even after 17 years every match is like my last match and that is definitely not right,” Afridi said.

“At my stage of career and age I would like to be assured every time I play that I don’t have to worry about the next innings,” he said.

Akmal, also recalled to the national side, questioned the wisdom behind dropping him for the Champions Trophy.

“It was very disappointing to miss out playing in such a prestigious tournament. I thought it was a strange and surprising decision and I wasn’t really expecting it to happen. You never take your place for granted and I’ve never been complacent, but the way I was suddenly dropped without too much justification was very difficult to accept,” Akmal noted.

Akmal also disclosed that at one stage he contemplated retiring from cricket after being dropped, but some former players talked him out of it. (AP)

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