Kamran Akmal hopes his hard work will impress selectors


ISLAMABAD: Wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal is once again among the runs in the National Twenty20 Cup and his record breaking run will surely force the national selectors to stand up and take notice.
However, the 35-year-old has played down talks of a recall, saying he is only focusing on his own game at the moment rather than aspiring for anything else. Kamran’s unbeaten 150 for Lahore Whites against Islamabad broke several records as he became the first Pakistani batsman to reach that landmark in T20s, surpassing Mukhtar Ahmed’s 126 for Sialkot Stallions against Karachi Whites in 2015 as the highest-ever score by a Pakistani. The 209-run opening stand he shared with former Pakistan captain Salman Butt was also the highest in the shortest format of the game, with Kamran doing the bulk of the damage with his 150. The duo broke the previous record of 207 set by Kent batsmen Joe Denly and Daniel Bell-Drummond in the Natwest T20 Blast earlier this year.
The 150, which came off just 71 balls, was no flash in the pan though. Kamran also became the first Pakistani to register five consecutive scores of 50 or more in the shortest format; only the third in the world after India’s Virender Sehwag and Zimbabwe’s Hamilton Masakadza. Despite being in the form of his life, Kamran knows all he can do is keep his head down and work towards forcing the selectors’ hands.
“I have been doing what a player needs to do – score runs – and that too in all formats of the game. I have been performing in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and now am doing so in T20 cricket as well,” Kamran said. “I am just concentrating on my game, which I’m supposed to do. The rest is up to the selectors and the board.”
However, he did admit he dreams of wearing the hallowed green again. “Every player who performs in domestic competition hopes to make it into the national team,” he said. “My job is to stay fit and perform to the best of my ability. If I am making records and performing consistently then that is all I can do from my end. Hopefully, the selectors will take notice. They are watching a lot of players and I hope my hard work can pay dividend.” Kamran revealed he isn’t planning on resting on his laurels. “For me, fitness is key to how a player performs. I was playing with an injured foot but still managed to score big,” he said. “If I am going out there as an opener and playing till the end of the innings then I must surely be fit.”