Colombo: Having made a comeback into the Pakistan team after a gap of one year, senior wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal is determined to do well in the coming ODI series against Australia and in the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka to get selected for the three-match ODI series against India in December.
"I am looking forward towards doing well against the Australians and the World T20 championship. It ensures selection in the squad for the India series. I would love to come to India again," Akmal, who plays for Wayamba United in the Sri Lanka Premier League, said during an interaction here.
The arch-rivals have not played a single series since Pakistan's tour of India in 2007 after cricket ties were snapped following the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.
Akmal, who was dropped from the side on allegations of under-performance, said that he would also want to play in the cash-rich Indian Premier League.
"I played for the Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural IPL and we were the champions. I can't say why the Paksitani players were not allowed to play in the IPL after that. But if I get a chance, I want to play in the IPL again," said the in-form Akmal, who has topped the batting charts in SLPL.
Akmal is confident that his good form in the SLPL will boost his confidence ahead of the World Twenty20.
"I am happy that I am playing in SLPL, though I did not know till the last moment, whether I will play in it. I landed here just hours before the first match. But this has done a world of good to me. I hope I can take my form to the Australia series and T20 World Cup here," said Akmal, who has played a big role in the unbeaten run of Wayamba United, the team owned by Indian company Wadhawan Holdings Pvt. Ltd.
"Our team [Wayamba United] is doing very well and we are almost through to the semi-finals. The team has given me good support and has looked after me very well. I have not got a better chance to play a prominent role in any other such tournament than I have been getting at Wayamba," said Akmal, who leaves for the UAE after today's SLPL match against Kandurata Warriors to join the Pakistan squad for the series against Australia.
The 30-year-old right-hand batsman said that he was not perturbed by all the controversies that surrounded him in the past one and half years. "I have been playing domestic cricket for Model Town Cricket Centre in Lahore and training at the NCA in Lahore. I also played for Sylhet Royals in the Bangladesh Premier League. I have been ignored for the Pakistan team for more than a year but I kept on playing club cricket and doing training.
"People will keep on writing about controversies about anybody. So I am not bothered about all those controversies surrounding me. Now I have been selected and have got the chance to prove myself. I hope I will carry on my good form and continue playing for Pakistan," he said.
"I am not the person to keep thinking about what had happened in the past. I will now play as if I am playing in my debut match," said Akmal.
Akmal said that he was hoping for the return of international cricket in Pakistan as he felt that there was no security issue in the country. "I can't talk much about security in Pakistan but I want international cricket to return to the country. I can say that there is no security problem in Pakistan. I want to tell those who think that Pakistan has security problem that they should come and see themselves," he said.
Asked about Pakistan's chances in the World Twenty20, he said, "We are well prepared. Many of the players in Pakistan squad are playing in SLPL and so we are good touch in this format. As a cricketer, we want to win every match and the trophy. But T20 is a tough and unpredictable format. Whoever plays better on a given day will win and so I am not predicting anything."