Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board has finally made the way for Kamran Akmal's return to the national team after it clarified that the wicket-keeper batsman does not need a clearance from PCB's integrity committee to be considered for selection.
A senior PCB official told PTI Saturday that as far as the board was concerned, the national selection committee was free to consider Kamran for any tournament. "There is no issue of clearance from the integrity committee with Kamran now," PCB's chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed said.
He clarified that Kamran's ouster from the national team since the 2011 World Cup was purely for cricketing reasons. "If you recall Kamran played in the last World Cup after he was cleared for selection. Since then there is no issue of integrity against him," Ahmed said.
The national selection committee has included Kamran's name in the preliminary list of 30 players for the forthcoming ICC T20 World Cup to be held in Sri Lanka. Chief selector Iqbal Qasim, however, had said that while they had included Kamran's name but they were still waiting for final approval and clearance from the PCB chairman.
Ahmed said Kamran had appeared before the integrity committee several times. "The selectors can now pick Kamran if they want. There is no confusion on this front," he said. Kamran has not played for the national team since the last World Cup when in one match against New Zealand he dropped Ross Taylor twice in one over off Shoaib Akhtar, instantly becoming a villain in the eyes of the cricketing crazy people of Pakistan.
The wicketkeeper remained under PCB integrity committee's scrutiny since 2010 when he also performed poorly in the Sydney Test on the tour to Australia. Kamran, when contacted, said he was relieved to know that finally he had been cleared by the integrity committee. "It is a big relief for me and my family. The last few months have been very difficult for me but now I just want to make a comeback and do well for the country," Kamran said.
The experienced player said that he had learnt form his past mistakes and had no intentions of giving up his place in the national team if the selectors give him a chance again. "I just want to do well and continue playing for a number of years in the national team," he said.