Comeback man Kamran Akmal, who was dropped from the Pakistan team after the 2011 World Cup semi-final against India in Mohali, said he has learnt his lessons the hard way in the last 17 months, and promises to give his all in the World T20, starting here from September 18.
The wicketkeeper-batsman was keen to play in the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) in order to adapt well to the conditions before the mega tournament. Akmal, who is the highest run-scorer (191 from four matches) for Wayamba United in the SLPL so far, opens up on a host of issues:
On joining the Sri Lanka Premier League at the last minute:
For me, every cricket event is equally important irrespective of whether it is club cricket or an international match. Though I was not a part of the Pakistan team after the World Cup, I continued training hard. I came here at the last moment after the owners (Wadhawan Group Pvt Holdings) insisted.
It is important for my confidence. I have learnt a lot from the Wayamba United captain Mahela Jayawardene. He has supported all the players really well.
We have always played against each other, but it has been a great experience to play together for a team.
He is one of the best captains I have played under. The SLPL is definitely a great way to prepare for the World T20.
On constant criticism of his wicketkeeping:
I was rightly dropped from the team after a bad performance in the 2011 World Cup. But it is difficult to be in good form always for any player. Once you are dropped, you go back to the domestic circuit and rectify your mistakes. I have also worked on my shortcomings at the national academy in Pakistan.