ISLAMABAD - Pakistan wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal believes that despite the series defeat in Sri Lanka one cannot write-off the green-shirts chances of winning the 2015 World Cup saying when it comes to major tournaments the national team has always risen its game.
Kamran Akmal, who last played for Pakistan in April 2014 during the Group 2 game against West Indies in the World T20 tournament in Bangladesh, said the conditions will be tough in Australia and New Zealand particularly for our batsmen but nobody should completely ignore Pakistan's chances for the World Cup. "Pakistani players need to believe in themselves and make sure that they have the right combination and ensure they are mentally ready for the mega event. If the preparation is good and self belief is there then nobody can stop the green-shirts," he told Pakpassion.net.
The Pakistani wicket keeper, who has played 261 international games, said that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should organize lengthy camps that included top players from Pakistan playing against each other in 50 over matches, instead of fitness camps in preparation for the World Cup. Talking about his younger brother Umar Akmal, Kamran said that he thinks the pressure of keeping wicket is affecting Umar's batting. "Look at the example of Rahul Dravid, his batting suffered when he was asked to keep wicket by India. I think fitness affects your wicket-keeping too as you are required to use muscles that, as a non wicket-keeper you do not use regularly," he said.
"So as a result of that, Umar's fitness is hindering his batting particularly when he's been in the field first. It is something that the management needs to look at as I believe that if they played Umar purely as a batsman he would perform a lot better than he is as a wicket-keeper/batsman," he said. Speaking about his comeback to international cricket, Kamran said he is fit and ready whenever Pakistan needs him. "Look at the examples of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan who are still playing top level cricket. I am 32 and feel that I still have a lot to offer to Pakistan and want to play professional cricket for another six or seven years, fitness permitting," he said.