Umar Akmal was born on 26th May 1990 in Lahore. He is a Pakistani cricketer. He made his ODI debut on August 1, 2009 against Sri Lanka and made his Test debut against New Zealand on November 23, 2009.
Umar is the youngest brother of Adnan Akmal and Kamran Akmal who are also cricketers. While his brothers are wicket keepers, he is a right-handed batsman and a part time spinner. His role model is his brother Kamran.
Umar represented Pakistan in the 2008 U/19 Cricket World Cup in Malaysia. After his success at the U-19 level he earned himself a first class contract and played the 2007-08 season of the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy, representing the Sui Southern Gas team. He is considered a future asset for Pakistan cricket. He is an aggressive style cricketer. In only his sixth first class match he smashed 248 off just 225 deliveries, including four sixes. He followed that up with an unbeaten 186 in his 8th first class match, off just 170 balls. He fared less well in his second season of first class cricket, with a string of low scores batting at number 3. He found form in the final few matches of the 2008/09 season and then in the RBS T20 tournament thus getting the selectors nod to play for Pakistan A side on their tour to Australia A.
Australia A tour
Umar came to prominence during the Australia A tour in June/July 2009. In the two test matches he recorded scores of 54, 100*, 130, 0. In the ODI series that followed Umer continued his fine form with a century in the opening ODI encounter off just 68 deliveries. These performances made him gather considerable praise from the media who were there to witness him and calls began to grow about his inclusion in the ODI series for the main Pakistan side against Sri Lanka.
Umar presented for the first time test against New Zealand in Dunedin in November 23, 2009. On the third day of testing for the first time, hit the age of runs completed 129 of 160 balls, becoming only the second Pakistani to score 100 in the first game away from home after Fawad world. This achievement also gave him the first Pakistani batsman to score all of his experiences before marriage and ODI century away from home, and after his ODI century against Sri Lanka. It was noted in particular the roles and because of the difficult position of Pakistan in the match and partnership 100 that participated in the finished side by side with his older brother Kamran. Then that even the first century in roles with 50 roles in the second.
In only his second test match and moved it up to a point vital to the number 3, where he suffered in the beginning but managed to counter-attack in hostile bowling with natural talent, making 46 before he was back by Daryl Tuffey inswinger by. Roles in the second, scroll down to its normal beating of the No. 5 Captain Mohammad Yousuf and chose to hit the number 3 in the same, and he finished himself seemed aggressive usual roles throughout his of 52 which came out just 33 balls. He said he had failed for the first time in the early rounds of the third test in Napier, where he was arrested in the gully for a duck but recorded 77 in the second leg, and promote him to the scorer’s leading term in the series. Complete the round ended with 400 runs at 57.1.
In an interview, Umar said “My own dream is to one day play for Pakistan alongside Kamran Bhai (Brother) and I’m working hard to try and achieve that goal”. Akmal was selected in Pakistan’s squad for the One Day International Series against Sri Lanka in July/August 2009. Having missed out on the first ODI Umar made his debut in the second match of the series replacing Mohammad Yousuf in the middle order. In only his second career ODI Umar scored his maiden ODI fifty. Umar followed up his maiden fifty by scoring a century in the very next match. For this match winning effort he was awarded his first career Man of the Match award. His exploits in Sri Lanka earned him a place in Pakistan’s champions trophy squad. He played two good innings. His 41 not out against West Indies was a match winning knock and landed him his second career Man of the Match award. His next big innings came in the semi final against New Zealand, where he scored a brisk 55 in a losing effort, before he was wrongly given out by umpire Simon Taufel, who later apologized.
Umar Akmal early success was briefly tarnished by a controversy during Pakistan’s 2009-10 tour of Australia. It was widely reported that Umar had feigned an injury to protest the dropping of older brother Kamran for the final Test match against Australia. Umar denied such rumors and played in the final match without his brother. He was later fined 2-3 million rupees by the PCB for breaching his contract and speaking to the media without approval.
You have a very talented family, first there’s Kamran who’s played knocks like Mohali and Karachi. Then there’s Adnan who has been described as the best pure keeper in Pakistan by the likes of Bob Woolmer. And now you are one of the stars of the u19 team. Will there be any more Akmal brothers to watch out for?
Umar Akmal: It’s only us three brothers that play cricket in my family. I wouldnt say I’m a star I’m just trying my best to play as good as I can and perform to the best of my abilities. I hope that I can continue playing like this in the future and I intend to work hard on my game to give myself the best chance.
Where did it all the interest in cricket start for your family?
Umar Akmal: It was my dad’s dream that his sons should play for Pakistan, thankfully Kamran Bhai has made his dream come true. As for me personally I became interested in cricket because of Kamran, I grew up watching him play and his desire rubbed off on me. My own dream is to one day play for pakistan alongside Kamran Bhai and I’m working hard to try and achieve that goal.
Who were your cricketing heroes when growing up? Pakistani and non-Pakistani.
Umar Akmal: When I started cricket it was Kamran who I used to look upto, he was developing his game and at the same time he would spend time with me and help me as much as he could. I also grew up watching and enjoying the batting of Inzamam, Dravid, Sachin and Ponting. From the newer players I really like Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.
Malik and Hafeez? Why those two?
Umar Akmal: Well Malik is a real fighter with the bat, he has a never say die attitude and will fight to the last ball. Hafeez and I both play for Sui Gas and he is someone who really made time to help me develop my game and to give me lots of tips to help me become the best player that I can. Also I bowl and so do both of them, I see a lot of similarities between us as players.
Yes I noticed that you took some wickets against Sri Lanka, what do you bowl?
Umar Akmal: I got three wickets against Sri Lanka in the final (of the recent u19 series) and I was really pleased with myself. I bowl off spin like Malik and Hafeez.
So when did you start to bowl is it a recent thing?
Umar Akmal: I’ve been bowling since the days of club cricket, I also bowl for the u19 team. Our coach Mansoor Bhai worked a lot on my bowling and told me where I was going wrong, since then I think I’ve become quite a good bowler.
Dont you think that the Pakistan team already has too many batsmen who bowl spin? There’s Malik, Hafeez, Afridi and now Alam. Wouldnt it be better to develop into a batsman who bowls medium pace in order to stand a better chance of getting into the Pakistan team?
Umar Akmal: I dont agree with that, if I’m good enough to be part of the team then they will pick me regardless of whether I bowl spin or seam, it shouldnt matter what the other batsmen bowl.
What sort of coaching have you been receiving?
Umar Akmal: The person who really polished my skills in both batting and bowling was the u19 coach Mansoor Rana, our fielding coach Ijaz Ahmed…
…is that Ijaz Ahmed the former Pakistan player?
Umar Akmal: Yes the former pakistan player. I have learnt a lot from him when it comes to fielding he is a very experienced and knowledgeable person I’ve really learnt a lot from him. Our coach Mansoor Rana has really been working hard on my batting, whenever I discover a new weakness in my batting I tell him about it and he works with me to fix the problem.
Other than cricket what are your hobbies?
Umar Akmal: Other than cricket I like flying kites and going on outings with my brothers and friends.
We’ve read scorecards about your performances but have never seen you bat. Describe your batting style.
Umar Akmal: I think that I play like my brother Kamran, we grew up learning the game together so I feel that my batting style is a lot like his. I like to bat according to what the team needs, if they need me to play fast then I play fast, if they need me to play more carefully then I play more carefully.
What’s your favourite shot?
Umar Akmal: My favourite shot is the straight drive.
Your success at the domestic level was nothing short of extraordinary with an average around 78 and strike in the 90s which is unheard for four game period. Tell us about your experience of the QET?
Umar Akmal: I went into the tournament with only one goal, I wanted to be the best batsman in the tournament so that I could get noticed and one day play for the Pakistan team. I wasnt thinking about averages and certainly not about my strike rate, I just wanted to be the best batsman. Unfortunately I wasnt able to be the best batsman, it wasnt until the final that I was told what my average and strike rate were and that’s when I realised that I had come so close but I have no regrets because I played for my team.
Well look at it this way, you wanted to get yourself noticed and your performance certainly got you noticed. So in the end you achieved your long term goal.
Umar Akmal: (subdued) I guess.
Have you heard anything from the selectors regarding your brilliant performance this season?
Umar Akmal: I met with the selectors and they congratulated me on my performance, they told me to keep playing well and performing like I have been. I told them that Insha Allah I will.
You’re seen as a big hitter, do you rely on power or timing to cross the boundary line?
Umar Akmal: I rely on timing the shot properly.
Are you more of a six hitter or a four hitter?
Umar Akmal: I’m more of an accumulator, I like to build my innings with singles and doubles. Of course if I time the ball well enough and it beats the fielders or I’m hitting the gaps then I pick up a lot of boundaries along the way as well.
What’s the biggest six you’ve ever hit.
Umar Akmal: I was playing first class cricket in Asghar Ali stadium where I hit 4 sixes and each time they were unable to recover the ball, it would have to be one of those. But I prefer to hit the gaps rather than to go for sixes.
Umar Akmal Pictures