Karachi:Embattled Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal has come in for sharp criticism for his statement that he would play the final Test against Australia in Hobart as a specialist glovesman and not as a batsman alone.
Akmal's statement came even though the Pakistan Cricket Board and national selectors have rushed in young Sarfaraz Ahmed to Australia as his replacement and said he would play in the Hobart Test.
"Akmal's statement just shows what is going on in the Pakistan team right now. The whole nation does not want him to play after his poor performance in the Sydney Test and yet he is insisting he will play, saying the management and players also supporting him," former captain Rashid Latif told a television channel.
"I don't understand what is happening in Pakistan cricket. The board and selectors have sent another keeper to Australia to apparently play him in the third Test and the team management is still insisting Akmal will play," Latif said.
Akmal dropped four important catches and missed a run out in the Sydney test which Pakistan having dominated for three days but still lost by 36 runs to hand Australia the three match series 0-2.
Former captain Aamer Sohail said it was obvious that Akmal needed a rest from international cricket and must understand that he would only damage his career by giving away such statements.
"It is not about one player or the team. Here the issue is about Pakistan and no player should be bigger than the country or team. If Akmal is not in form he must side out and give Sarfaraz a chance," Sohail said.
Former pacer Sarfaraz Nawaz said Akmal's statement indicated the state of affairs in the team.
"This is a clear example of players power trying to override the board decisions," he added.
Chief selector Iqbal Qasim said he did not come across any such any statement but said the PCB took the decision to send Sarfaraz to Australia obviously with some plan in mind.
"When we have rushed Sarfaraz to Australia at such a short notice there is a reason for it. The management has been told he should be given a chance and Akmal some rest, which he needs to take now," Qasim said.