Nawaz Sharif and cricketer Umar Akmal held a meeting at Sharif’s London residence, igniting speculation about Akmal’s potential return to the national cricket team. The middle-order batter, who has been absent from international cricket since 2019, used this occasion to make a fervent plea to Nawaz Sharif for another chance to don the Pakistani jersey.
A video circulating on Twitter captured Umar Akmal leaving Nawaz Sharif’s residence, hinting at the discussions that transpired behind closed doors. In his statement following the meeting, Akmal expressed his gratitude for the time afforded to him by Nawaz Sharif, acknowledging the honor of the encounter. However, Akmal remained tight-lipped about the specifics of his request, leaving room for speculation about his intentions.
This rendezvous between Umar Akmal and Nawaz Sharif has raised questions about the cricketer’s potential association with the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N). The meeting’s timing, against the backdrop of Akmal’s aspirations for a cricketing comeback, adds intrigue to the scenario.
Umar Akmal met Nawaz Sharif in London. pic.twitter.com/36UBY2y8Q4
— Ihtisham Ul Haq (@iihtishamm) August 18, 2023
Umar Akmal’s cricketing journey has been marked by both accolades and setbacks. His international career boasts an impressive tally of 221 matches across various formats, yielding over 5000 runs for Pakistan. Yet, his recent performance in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), where he represented the Quetta Gladiators, was underwhelming, culminating in a mere 95 runs over six matches. This dip in form contributed to his exclusion from the national team after the 2019 T20 series against Sri Lanka.
The year 2020 saw Umar Akmal suspended from cricketing activities under Article 4.7.1 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code. However, his ban was subsequently lifted in 2021, enabling him to participate in domestic cricket competitions. Now, his meeting with Nawaz Sharif suggests a renewed push to regain his place in Pakistan’s cricketing landscape.
When questioned about Pakistan’s cricketing prospects, Umar Akmal conveyed optimism, anticipating a positive transformation upon Nawaz Sharif’s return to the country. The cricketer’s enthusiasm for representing Pakistan was palpable as he emphasized his physical fitness and readiness to contribute to the team’s success.
As this meeting unfolds against the backdrop of Pakistan’s cricket squad congregating in Sri Lanka for an upcoming ODI series against Afghanistan, the cricketing fraternity eagerly awaits developments in Umar Akmal’s journey.