‘Please release me’ – Kamran Akmal pulls out of PSL after ‘sympathy’ draft pick by Peshawar Zalmi
Kamran Akmal has pulled out of the seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League after being picked up by Peshawar Zalmi in the ‘Silver’ category at the PSL draft.
Kamran has played for Peshawar Zalmi since the formation of the PSL and is the franchise’s all-time leading run-scorer, but he was released days out from the competition and placed in the ‘Gold’ category in the draft by the Pakistan Cricket Board. He was subsequently re-signed by Peshawar Zalmi in the ‘Silver’ category, but has chosen to forgo playing in PSL 7 instead.
The 39-year-old tweeted his decision to pull out, thanking Peshawar Zalmi for his time at the club, but saying that he doesn’t “deserve to play in this category”.
Last 6 seasons it was a great journey..Thank you for supporting me through thick and thin M.Akram bhai @JAfridi10 @darensammy88 @WahabViki ..I think i don’t deserve to play in this category…Thank you once again..@PeshawarZalmi Best of luck..Thank You all the fans for supporting
— Kamran Akmal (@KamiAkmal23) December 12, 2021
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Catch And Bat with Kamran Akmal, the former Pakistan wicketkeeper said he was “dejected” and expanded on his decision.
“Please release me because I don’t deserve to play in this category,” he said, translated from Urdu by Cricket Pakistan. “The lower categories are better suited for youngsters. I don’t want their sympathy just because I have played for them in the past six seasons.”
He criticised the PCB’s decision to move him down from the highest category in the draft. “As far as the category is concerned, I was not happy when it was initially announced,” he said. “I was very surprised to see my category demotion from Platinum to Gold despite my good track record.”
Peshawar Zalmi were beaten in the final of PSL 6, but though Kamran was their second-highest run-scorer in the edition, he had a poor competition by his standards. He averaged 21.76 at a strike-rate of 129.22, with a high score of 59 and only one other half-century in 13 innings. Kamran was the leading run-scorer in Peshawar Zalmi’s sole title win in 2017, top scoring with 40 off 32 in the final.