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Sixers cut Akmal for Big Bash League
13:30 AEST Tue Nov 20 2012

The Sydney Sixers have terminated the contract of Pakistan import Umar Akmal after it was revealed he would only be allowed to play in the team's Big Bash League opener.

A day after fellow Pakistan star Shahid Afridi pulled out of his deal with cross-town rivals Sydney Thunder, Akmal's BBL hopes were dashed by the Sixers.

After initially ruling Akmal, Afridi and Adelaide Strikers signing Saeed Ajmal ineligible to play in Australia's Twenty20 tournament due to domestic playing obligations back home, the Pakistan Cricket Board softened its stance to allow the trio to play the early stages of the competition.

But due to scheduling Akmal would have been available for just one game for the Sixers and that wasn't enough for Sixers general manager Stuart Clark.

"While it would have been great to have Umar here for the start of the BBL season, the short time frame offered is not in the club's best interest and we have decided to see if a suitable replacement is available rather than continue down this path," Clark said.

The Sixers have been linked with England batsman Kevin Pietersen and Clark said he would not sign an import just for the sake of having one.

"We are confident our strong roster will be able to cover the loss of Umar should we not find a suitable replacement," he said.

The Sixers will take on the Thunder in the season-opener on December 8 at the SCG.

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