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Kamran decides not to play after PSL category humiliation

By Agencies
December 14, 2021
Kamran decides not to play after PSL category humiliation

KARACHI: Wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal has refused to participate in the seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) after he was picked in the draft in the lowest category by his old team Peshawar Zalmi.

Kamran, the tournament's second-highest run-scorer, called it a "humiliation" and added: "If it has to end like this, so be it, but I am not going to play."

The PCB had tweaked the player categories before the draft, and Akmal had been moved down from the Diamond category to the Gold category but was eventually picked up by Zalmi as their last pick, from the Silver category. "You don't treat a player like this. With all the runs I have scored in the league, I deserve better.

"I agree that rejigging the categories wasn't the franchises' prerogative, it was Ramiz Raja [PCB chairman] who reworked the categories. But being picked in Silver was a further demotion," said Kamran.

After the draft on Sunday evening, Zalmi coach Muhammad Akram told reporters that he had spoken to Akmal and offered him the same remuneration as a Gold-category player would expect to be paid. "Kamran has always been the closest to our heart. He has not only served Pakistan well, but has entertained PSL fans for last six years," Akram said. "I had spoken with him earlier, and informed him that if we pick him in the Silver category, we will still pay him same money as he would earn in the Gold category by making him the team's mentor.

"We have also announced a benefit year for him and a certain amount from our earning will go back into that. With age [Akmal is 39], things change and we have to be realistic. "He has been our key player and I hope I will be able to persuade him to play the season. But, at the end of the day, it's their [the players'] choice, they are professionals and can play wherever they want."

Akmal's PSL record is impressive. He has 1820 runs from 69 games, the run tally second only to Babar Azam's 2070 from 58 games. Akmal has scored his runs at a strike rate of 136.84 and is the only one to have scored three hundreds; Sharjeel Khan has two.