KOLKATA: Umar Akmal’s employers in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) treated him like a VIP on the eve of his debut in the league on Monday only to see him fail miserably.
Akmal was flown straight to Dhaka from the UAE on Monday after Pakistan’s last T20 fixture against England the night before, and then flown to Chittagong in a chartered helicopter for his BPL debut match a few hours later.
The paper said his team Chittagong Vikings had shelled out 80,000 Bangladeshi taka, or PKR 108,350, to get Akmal to the match venue on time for the game against the Shakib al Hasan-led Rangpur Riders.
Prothom Alo said when he got off the helicopter at a girls’ college ground next to the stadium, Akmal looked like a “movie star” in his black tee, blue denim and dark shades.
But if the Vikings were hoping to see their star help the team defeat the Riders, they were being overly optimistic; Akmal let them down with an eight-ball stay that yielded just one run.
Shakib enticed him in the eighth over to stride forward with a tossed-up delivery on the off stump, and got him to nick back to the keeper.
Akmal did not look happy at all but he had to go after spending a mere eight minutes at the crease.
The Bengali daily headlined the report: ‘One run costs 80,000 taka’.
Chittagong Vikings, who also have Mohammed Amir and Saeed Ajmal on its rolls, are third on the points table with six points from three wins in five outings till Monday night.
Making matters worse for Chittagong Vikings, they lost to Rangpur Riders by nine wickets with three overs to spare.
Umar Akmal’s brother Kamran, who also turned up for the Vikings, did not bother the bowlers either. He stayed at the crease for eight minutes, played seven balls, but hit a six and a four to score 12.
He picked the wrong ball off Arafat Sunny to play the cut, misread the script and paid the price.