PSL 2022: This is embarrassment – Kamran Akmal refuses to play for Peshawar Zalmi over demotion at draft

Senior Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal has refused to play in the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2022 edition after he was demoted to the lowest category of players in the draft on Sunday, December 12 in Lahore. Akmal took to social media and said he doesn’t deserve the ‘silver’ category and that bid goodbyes to Peshawar Zalmi.

Kamran Akmal was not retained by Peshawar Zalmi who announced 8 retentions as of December 10. Wahab Riaz, their captain, and England batter Liam Livingstone were retained in the platinum category while Shoaib Malik was retained in the gold category.

Each franchise can comprise up to 18 players, including three each in Platinum, Diamond and Gold categories, five Silver, two Emerging and up to two Supplementary categories.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had tweaked the player categories just before the draft on Sunday and Akmal was moved from the Diamond Category to the Gold category. At the draft, Akmal was not even picked in the gold category as Peshawar Zalmi roped him in as their last pick and in the silver category.

I DESERVE BETTER: AKMAL

Kamran Akmal, who has been playing for Peshawar Zalmi from the inaugural edition of the PSL in 2016, is the tournament’s second-leading run-getter with 1820 runs from 69 games. He has been the most successful wicketkeeper in the PSL with 60 dismissals.

“If it has to end like this, so be it, but I am not going to play with such humiliation. This is an embarrassment. You don’t treat a player like this. With all the runs I have scored in the league, I deserve better,” Akmal told ESPNCricinfo.

“I agree that rejigging the categories wasn’t the franchises’ prerogative, it was Ramiz Raja [PCB chairman] who reworked the categories. But being picked in Silver was a further demotion,” he added.

Peshawar Zalmi coach Mohammad Akram responded to Kamran Akmal’s statement, saying the 39-year-old batter has to be realistic and added that Akmal was told that he would get the money that a player in the Gold category gets despite picking him in the silver category.

“We have also announced a benefit year for him and a certain amount from our earning will go back into that. With age, things change and we have to be realistic. But on paper, he is still with the team and that is why we picked him,” Akram said.

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