Umar Akmal hits out at Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur for alleged foul language

Sport360 staff 16/08/2017
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Umar Akmal has come out with strong allegations against Mickey Arthur.

Pakistan cricketer Umar Akmal has hit out against head coach Mickey Arthur for using abusive language towards him in front of national selector Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Akmal has also claimed that Arthur used such language against the other players too.

The player alleged that he was also asked to refrain from using the services of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore by Arthur who asked him to go play club-cricket first.

Akmal was recently dropped from the Pakistan squad for the ICC Champions Trophy in Birmingham earlier this May after the batsman failed two fitness tests in as many months.

The 27-year-old was sent home from England for his regress with Haris Sohail flown in as his replacement.

He was previously not picked for the West Indies tour in April after he became the only player among a camp of 31 to fail the fitness test.

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The mercurial right-hander apologised to fans after being dropped from the Champions Trophy squad that went on to win the tournament and vowed to return stronger than ever.

Akmal made these strong statements against Arthur in a press conference on Wednesday.

The South African meanwhile has hit back at Akmal’s allegations saying that he has never stopped the batsman from using the services of the NCA but has only asked him to refrain from using the services of the support staff.

Arthur has hit back at Akmal's allegations.

Arthur has hit back at Akmal’s allegations.

“Umar Akmal wanted to use Grant Flower’s services for batting, I told him he must first earn the right. Go and play club cricket since he is not under a PCB contract anymore. He needs to prove himself before using our support staff,” Arthur commented.

“I never stopped him from using the academy, I told him to not use the services of our support staff until he earns the right. Umar Akmal cannot expect the support staff for contracted players to be at his beck and call, go back and play some club cricket,” the South African added.

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ICC hires security company in bid to bring international cricket back to Pakistan

Sport360 staff 16/08/2017
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International cricket could be set to return to Lahore's Gaddafi stadium.

In a bid to resume international cricket in Pakistan, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has signed a three-year contract with a security firm.

The newly-appointed chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Najam Sethi, has said that this is the ICC’s first step towards resumption of cricket in the country.

International cricket in the nation has become a distant dream for Pakistan in the wake of the 2009 terrorist attack on the touring Sri Lanka cricket team bus in Lahore.

“It’s a step by the ICC for the revival of international cricket in Pakistan. The company is based in three countries: the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the UAE, and has a good repute,” Sethi had said, as quoted by the Dawn.

Sethi added that the security company is expected to visit Pakistan in the last week of August or the first week of September.

“A representative of the Federation of International Cricketers (FICA) will accompany the security company to personally monitor the security situation in Lahore,” he said.

“It will be a four-day visit where the security company will work with the government of Punjab to get assurances that all the recommendations submitted by security experts of the different countries who visited Lahore to watch the final of the second Pakistan Super League (PSL) season have been incorporated by the government in its SOPs, or not,” he said.

Newly appointed PCB chairman Najam Sethi.

Newly-appointed PCB chairman Najam Sethi.

The security firm will be visiting Pakistan annually to review the arrangements with the ICC paying them $400,000 for each such visit.

Meanwhile, preparations are on for the proposed ICC World XI series in the country.

The series was expected to be played at the end of September but has tentatively been pushed forward by two weeks due to the important by-elections to be held in Lahore on th 17th on the month.

The World XI series remains subject to security clearances and the visit of the security company in this regard will play a crucial role in deciding whether the planned series goes ahead.

In some good news for the PCB, the Sri Lankan Cricket board has agreed a deal in principal to play up to two T20 matches in Pakistan as part of the bilateral series to be contested between the two nations in the UAE next month.

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Pakistan set to stage T20 against Sri Lanka in Lahore while UAE will host other fixtures

Sport360 staff 16/08/2017
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The Gaddafi Stadium will contest the fixture in either September or October.

The Sri Lankan Cricket Board have agreed in principle to play a T20 fixture in Pakistan later this year as part of the Test, ODI and 20-over series between the two sides.

It will be the first time international cricket has been staged in the country since a low-key limited-overs series was played against Zimbabwe, amidst a heavy security presence, back in May 2015.

Aside from those contests and Lahore’s successful staging of the Pakistan Super League final earlier this year, Pakistan have been unable to play on home turf due to security reasons following the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus, which also occurred in Lahore.

According to Dawn News reporter Abdul Ghaffar, Pakistan will play two day-night Test matches, five one-day internationals and two T20 clashes in the UAE this winter (September/October) – the Green Army’s cricketing home since 2009.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi tweeted his delight that Sri Lanka had given the green light to tour Pakistan.

The PCB have yet to officially confirm the series.

Plans are also afoot for there to be an ICC World XI series hosted in Pakistan in September.

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