No Full Member nation has toured Pakistan since the terrorist attacks on the Sri Lanka team bus in March 2009. Umar made his international debut in August 2009 so he hasn’t played any international match on his home soil.
“It will be an amazing feeling, it would mean so much to me,” said Umar.
“Cricketers around the world take playing at home in front of their own crowds for granted. But unfortunately many of us Pakistani cricketers have never been able to play in our own conditions which is really tough.
“I know the people of Pakistan are really looking forward to the return of international cricket to Pakistan and so are the players. I can’t wait to hopefully walk out in front of the Lahore crowd if I am selected.
“I thank the Zimbabwe team for embarking on this tour and hope it’s the start of international cricket returning permanently to Pakistan.”
Umar was selected in the T20 squad which will face Zimbabwe on May 22 and 24. He was earlier dropped from the Bangladesh tour due to disciplinary issues and a poor 2015 World Cup performance.
His recent prolific form in the domestic Super8 T20 cup where he scored 35, 1, 95* and 85* in four matches earned him a spot in the 15-member squad.
“I went back to club cricket and performed well there,” said Umar.
“I was also one of the top-scorers during the Super8 tournament in Faisalabad and showed the selectors that I am in good form and can score runs when given the opportunity. I’m hoping that I can carry my good form into the Zimbabwe series.”
He rued that batting down the order had affected his form in the recent past.
“I have done the best I could despite the position I have been batting in for large parts of my career,” concluded Umar.
“I could have been selfish and finished with a few more not outs, but that’s not the way I am. I’m a team player and will not sacrifice the team’s interests for my own.
“Obviously you cannot make runs every time, but I feel my better performances have come when the management have shown faith in me and given me a chance to bat up the order.”
You can read the complete interview here
The post It will be amazing feeling to play at home, says Umar Akmal appeared first on The Express Tribune.