Umar Akmal's sudden 'stiff back' ploy fails, declared fit for Hobart Test

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Hobart, Jan 12(ANI): Pakistan middle-order batsman Umar Akmal has reportedly recovered from his sudden stiff back and will play in the third and final Test against Australia in Hobart, starting from Thursday.

"It was nothing serious. He had a stiff back and needed some treatment. He should be back in the nets tomorrow and will play in the Test," The News quoted Abdul Raqeeb, the Pakistan team manager, as saying.

Umar had yesterday complained of a stiff back, making him a doubtful starter for the Test match.

However, it was believed that Umar's back problem that came out of the blue was linked to his elder brother Kamran Akmal's possible axing from the Hobart Test.

According to reports, the 19-year-old batsman was possibly faking the problem in a bid to pressurize the team management to retain Kamran in the squad.

Umar, who made a sensational debut last November against New Zealand, has already become an important member of the national team due to his aggressive batting. He had shown no signs of fitness problems, but suddenly complained of a back injury after a couple of practice sessions at the Bellerive Oval.

Even Australia skipper Ricky Ponting expressed his surprise over the issue, and said: "It might be in protest. It's a strange situation. Umar has looked their second best batsman behind (Mohammad) Yousuf." (ANI)

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