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Is Umar Akmal's sudden 'stiff back' ploy to save brother Kamran from the axe?

Posted By: Staff

Hobart, Jan 11(ANI): Pakistan middle-order batsman Umar Akmal has complained of a stiff back, making him a doubtful starter for the third and final Test against Australia in Hobart.

However, it is believed that Umar's back problem that came out of the blue is linked to his elder brother Kamran Akmal's possible axing from the Hobart Test.

According to reports, the 19-year-old batsman could be faking the problem in a bid to pressurize the team management to retain Kamran in the squad.

Umar, who made a sensational debut last November against New Zealand, has already become an important member of the national team due to his aggressive batting. He had shown no signs of fitness problems, but suddenly complained of a back injury after a couple of practice sessions at the Bellerive Oval.

Meanwhile, coach Intikhab Alam ruled out any serious problem, and said: "Umar has a stiff back. It's nothing serious and we expect him to be fit for the third Test."

"It is not uncommon for players to have such problems and I think that with some treatment he should be okay," The News quoted Intikhab, as saying.

Alam had earlier said that Sarfraz Ahmed will replace Kamran as the wicketkeeper for the Test, due to his dismal performance behind the stumps on the tour so far.

The decision came after several former Pakistan players had suggested replacing Kamran with Sarfarz, saying that his poor wicketkeeping was the main cause for Pakistan's defeat in the Sydney Test. (ANI)

Story first published: Monday, January 11, 2010, 12:08 [IST]
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