Zalmi patch up with Kamral Akmal; cricketer to remain with PSL franchise


Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Peshawar Zalmi have patched up with Kamral Akmal, confirming that the veteran wicketkeeper-batter will play for the side next season.

A veteran of 53 Tests, 157 ODIs and 58 T20Is, the 39-year-old Akmal, who had been an integral part of Zalmi for six year, had recently urged the franchise to release him as he didn’t “deserve to play in the silver category”.

Akmal is the second-highest run-getter in PSL history but ahead of the player draft, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) demoted him from the platinum category.

“As far as the category is concerned, I was not happy when it was initially announced. I was very surprised to see my category demotion despite my good track record. The lower categories are better suited for youngsters,” Akmal had said.

However, on Wednesday Akmal confirmed to that the differences had been ironed out and he would continue playing for Zalmi.

“For me self-respect is foremost and it’s not about money,” Akmal said. “Had it (been) about more money I could have left Zalmi long ago but they are like a family and I never imagined leaving them. It’s the process that basically was surprising and how the board disregards the senior cricketers.

“It’s hurtful as it’s a domestic tournament and I am not done yet. It’s the passion for the game that kept me going and the performance that matters. I am not looking at the international level as I know I don’t deserve it but at PSL I think I deserve a lot at this level. Zalmi is my pride and I will be playing for them,” Akmal added.

“We have a great respect for Kamran,” Mohammad Akram, Zalmi’s head coach said.

“Picking him in the silver category was a part of our strategy as draft dictates who you pick at what stage. We had the right-to-match card with us and we saved it for him in case any team could have tried to pick him. So when you have a tool to protect your player you make sure that he isn’t hurt money wise,” he added.



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