What’s the story?
Umar Akmal has made a surprising claim after being dropped by the selection committee – led by former skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq – for the upcoming series against West Indies.
Akmal, who had failed a fitness test before he was dropped has said that he gains weight even if he drinks water. While speaking to a Pakistan TV channel Waqt News about himself and his elder brother Kamran, he said, “Even if we only drink water, it increases our weight, only our brother Adnan has a biological system which does not show his heavy diet on his body.”
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Umar Akmal was the only player to be left out because of his inability to clear the fitness test prior to the selection for the tour of West Indies, which will begin on the 26th of March. His elder brother Kamran has made a comeback to the limited overs side after a gap of nearly three years.
The heart of the matter
The Akmal brothers – Umar and Kamran – were the leading run-scorers in the 2015/16 and 2016/17 editions of the PSL respectively. However, the former has endured a horrific run in this year’s PSL, scoring only 164 runs in eight innings and has been dropped after failing a fitness test.
While speaking on the same matter, Umar added that he and his elder brother Kamran are prone to gaining weight and it is the same with all of his six siblings excluding the 32-year-old Adnan. Umar, who is now 26, said that from the past few days he has been on a barbeque diet, yet still failed to clear the fitness test.
Drinking water generally does not result in weight gain because water is calorie free. However, under specific medical conditions, it results in the increase of an individual’s weight because the water content is retained by the body.
Umar put up a brilliant display in a grade-2 match in Pakistan as the right-hander scored a stroke-filled hundred for his side. However, it will be his elder sibling Kamran who will travel along with the rest of the team after he was selected in the limited-overs squad following a 353-run campaign in this year’s Pakistan Super League.
The squad for the Test series is yet to be announced and it will be interesting to see if Umar can pass the fitness test to be eligible for selection in the longer format of the game.
All sports demand extreme levels of fitness and cricket is a sport where the players should be fit enough to play for as many as five days without a break and also for more than eight hours on a single day.
It is unfortunate that Akmal is going through a difficult phase like this but he should treat this as a learning experience and prepare his body in a better manner prior to future tournaments.