DateLine: 10th November 2010
One man's loss is another man's gain, and whilst the Zulqarnain Haider saga continues to unfold, his decision to leave the Pakistan squad currently on tour in the United Arab Emirates has opened the door for Adnan Akmal.
25 year old Adnan represents Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited in Pakistani domestic cricket and whilst his batting statistics display a first class batting average of 22.78, he is undoubtedly an excellent gloveman. Akmal has taken 263 catches and has eight half centuries and two first class centuries to his name.
Adnan played a major part in the recent Faysal Bank Twenty20 compeition victory for the Lahore Lions, wherein he was named best wicketkeeper of the tournament. In an interview with PakPassion.net after the conclusion of the Faysal Bank competition, Adnan dedicated the award that he picked up to his elder brother Kamran.
Speaking to PakPassion.net ; Adnan stated that just because he is the brother of Kamran and Umar Akmal, it doesn't mean that there will be additional pressure on his shoulders.
"Yes of course people will compare me to my brother Kamran, but for me it's no additional pressure on my shoulders. I'll take the opportunity with both hands and do the best for my team mates and country. I will treat the matches against South Africa as another game of cricket and not to put too much pressure on myself."
Akmal's selection at short notice was as a result of Zulqarnain Haider's withdrawal from the Pakistan squad and whilst the call came at short notice, Adnan stated that he was mentally ready for the challenge.
"South Africa are a strong side and it will be a competitive series, but I'm really looking forward to it. I was preparing myself for the next Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match against Rawalpindi, but now I'm totally focused on the test series versus South Africa."
Whilst the events leading up to Adnan's selection have been controversial and at times surreal, his aim is to make the most of the opportunity and to cement a place in the Pakistan test side.
"To play for your country is a boyhood dream and I am no different. When I got the call from the PCB, I was naturally elated and excited and I want to ensure that I represent my country with honour and dignity."
Pakistan take on South Africa in a two test series, with the opening test match commencing this Friday.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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