Umar Akmal promises to show more maturity
Akmal was recently dropped from the training camp in Abbottabad by the chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq on disciplinary grounds.
Nevertheless, Akmal feels that he has improved a lot over the years and promises to focus on batting according to the situation and show maturity as a cricketer.
"I think I have improved a lot when it comes to maturity both on the cricket field and off it," Akmal told PakPassion.net in an exclusive interview.
"I feel that in the coming months and years everyone will see a more mature Umar Akmal.
"I particularly need to bat according to the situation more than I have in the past and that is definitely something I am focussing on."
Akmal has been signed by Leicestershire for the NatWest T20 Blast and so far he has scored an unbeaten fifty in a losing cause against Northamptonshire and struck an unbeaten 26 to take his team home in the game against Durham.
Thanking Leicestershire for giving him an opportunity in the NatWest T20 Blast, Akmal wants to score heavily in domestic cricket in order to impress the national selectors.
"Firstly, a big thank you to Leicestershire for giving me the opportunity to return and play for them again.
"I had a great time last season playing for Leicestershire and my aims this season are to play well and score plenty of runs in each match for Leicestershire and to help them have a successful season in the NatWest T20 Blast tournament.
"My aim is to make lots of runs for Leicestershire, then in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and then back home in Pakistan I need to make sure I get off to a flying start in domestic cricket for Sui Gas.
"I am aware that I need a strong domestic season behind me to impress the selectors and I am fully aware that I need to perform in domestic cricket to hopefully catch the eye of the selectors."
Though Akmal has not made it to the recently named Pakistan squad for the four-match Test tour of England, he is still hopeful that he can make it to the limited overs leg of the tour.
"Well the squads have not been announced as yet for the limited overs leg of the tour of England.
"Only the squad has been announced ahead of the Test series, so you never know.
"I live in hope, I always do. I've only wanted what is best for the Pakistan team and Pakistan cricket and I have always tried my best in whatever format I have been selected.
"I always pray that the Pakistan cricket team is successful whether I am in the team or not and that will never change.
"Let's see what happens in the coming weeks and months as that will give me a clearer picture regarding my future."
Beginning his Test career with a century against New Zealand in 2009, Akmal had set himself high standards but he never managed to live up to them in the longer form of the game.
Despite playing 111 One-Day Internationals in his career, Akmal has only featured in 16 Test matches and has 1,003 runs at an average of 35.82.
Dismissing talk that he is a limited overs specialist, Akmal has reiterated his desire to play in the Test format for Pakistan and said that he emulates Younis Khan and AB de Villiers.
"My aim has always been and always will be to play Test cricket for Pakistan.
"I've always said that Test cricket is the number one format for me and I still maintain that.
"I always wanted to emulate the achievements of Younis Khan in Test cricket and still do.
"He's a great example to me as a cricketer and as a human being.
"I also follow AB de Villiers a lot and he's another great example to me.
"These are two individuals whose achievements I want to emulate and time is still on my side."
After the completion of the four-match Test series against England in August, Pakistan will play two ODIs in Ireland followed by five ODIs in England and a lone Twenty20 International.
© Cricket World 2016