Akmal: Playing in Lahore will be ‘amazing’


Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Umar Akmal has never played an international match on home soil, and is excited about possibly doing so as his side takes on Zimbabwe in Lahore over the next 10 days.

Akmal made his debut in August 2009, six months after the bomb attack on Sri Lanka's team bus, which saw cricket in the country suspended for the next six years. Zimbabwe's visit is the first by a Full Member side since then.

Akmal told PakPassion ahead of the first T20 in Lahore: "It will be an amazing feeling, it would mean so much to me. Cricketers around the world take playing at home in front of their own crowds for granted.

"But unfortunately many of us Pakistani cricketers have never been able to play in our own conditions which is really tough. I know the people of Pakistan are really looking forward to the return of international cricket to Pakistan and so are the players.

"I can't wait to hopefully walk out in front of the Lahore crowd if I am selected. I thank the Zimbabwe team for embarking on this tour and hope it's the start of international cricket returning permanently to Pakistan."

Umar, who was not part of the Bangladesh tour, also said that his low to middling average was as a result of his batting position, and that if he'd played 'selfish' cricket he'd have better stats as he'd have more not-outs.

He said: "I have done the best I could despite the position I have been batting in for large parts of my career. I could have been selfish and finished with a few more not outs, but that's not the way I am.

"I'm a team player and will not sacrifice the team's interests for my own. Obviously you cannot make runs every time, but I feel my better performances have come when the management have shown faith in me and given me a chance to bat up the order."