Pakistan’s Test batsman, Umar Akmal has claimed that chief coach Mickey Arthur abused him during an argument at the national cricket academy in Lahore.
“I stand by what I told the media earlier today. Mickey Arthur used first poor language and than abused me. Inzamam bhai and Mushtaq bhai (Ahmed) are both witness to this incident at the NCA,” said Umar on Wednesday. The altercation took place between Umar and Arthur after the former returned from England following a rehabilitation program for a knee problem and went to the academy for training. Umar said he went there after informing batting coach, Grant Flower about his need to practice.
“When I reached there first Grant and than our physio, Grant Luden refused to accommodate me saying they were only working with the centrally contracted players. I then went to Mickey and he told he was instructed only to work with the contracted players,” Umar said.
“He then told me go and speak to Inzamam and Mushtaq. I went to them and spoke to them. They explained things to me about my status and reminded me I had failed the fitness test several times. They advised me to listen to what was being said to me. I said okay and than they told me go and talk to Mickey again,” Umar recalled.
The Pakistan batsman said it was the second time when he went to Arthur to ask him to allow him to train with the coaches that he lost his cool. “First he told me what I was doing at the academy. He then told me I should go and play club cricket. And then he used poor and abusive language. I can tolerate anything but I don’t think anyone has the right to use such language,” Umar said.
A PCB spokesman told PTI that a show cause notice would be issued to Umar today as he had breached the terms of contract and clauses for players by going and speaking to the media. “He is not a centrally contracted player but he is still bound by clauses governing players even one year after his contract expires. He can’t speak to the media without first seeking permission from the board,” he said.
Umar said he would respond to the show cause notice when it was served on him. “I want to know that after I was dropped for the West Indies tour did I complain or blame anyone? I admitted I needed to work harder on my fitness and game.
“When I was sent back from the Champions Trophy which was a humiliating experience for me I didn’t say anything or speak in the media. I only admitted I needed to improve my fitness and I had to do better. I went to England for rehabilitation and remained positive. But today I went to the media because the head coach used bad language and he has no right to do this with any player and I want the PCB to look into this.”
Relations between Umar and Arthur have not been ideal since last year when Pakistan toured Australia and the coach complained about the batsman’s fitness levels. The Pakistani player was sent back from the Champions Trophy in England after Arthur said his fitness standards was not at par with the team.