Karachi, 19 August
Young wicketkeeper-batsman Umar Akmal will undergo a medical examination required by the Pakistan Cricket Board after he reportedly suffered an epileptic seizure during his recent stint in the Caribbean Premier League.
A source in the PCB said that Umar had fallen unconscious on a flight from Trinidad to Antigua while playing in the Caribbean Premier League for the Barbados side. “He was immediately taken to hospital in Antigua and kept there overnight for tests. They have informed us of his condition and he has been asked to return to Pakistan immediately,” the source said. According to him, PCB caretaker chairman Najam Sethi said that as soon as the youngster returned from the West Indies, he should be examined by specialists, including a leading neurosurgeon approved by the board.
“There is concern about his illness, although his family members have been in communication with him and say doctors told Umar his was not really a serious condition,” the source said.
Umar had been in the Pakistan Twenty20 and One-Day Internationals squad for the tour of Zimbabwe but was subsequently withdrawn by the PCB. Selectors have replaced him with wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed. “In the past, in Pakistan cricket, there was no instance a player suffering epileptic seizures. Hopefully, when he undergoes a complete medical examination, he should be fine,” another official said.
The youngster, whose two brothers, Kamran and Adnan, are wicketkeepers and have played for Pakistan, is seen as a key player for the more demanding series against South Africa and Sri Lanka scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates later this year.
Umar kept wicket and also batted well on Pakistan’s tour of the West Indies in July.