PSL fixing: PCB bans Umar Akmal for 3 years; harsh decision, says Kamran

Umar Akmal was charged with two breaches of Article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents on March 17
Pakistan's wicket-keeper batsman Umar Akmal was on Monday banned for three years for failing to 'report corrupt approaches' ahead of Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020.

 

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said the ban was imposed by its Disciplinary Panel Chairman Justice (retired) Fazal-e-Miran Chauhan, who held a hearing on Monday.

 

"Umar Akmal handed three-year ban from all cricket by Chairman of the Disciplinary Panel Mr Justice (retired) Fazal-e-Miran Chauhan," read a tweet from the official handle of the PCB's media department. 

Umar Akmal handed three-year ban from all cricket by Chairman of the Disciplinary Panel Mr Justice (retired) Fazal-e-Miran Chauhan.

PCB Media (@TheRealPCBMedia) April 27, 2020

Umar Akmal last played a Test for Pakistan in late 2009 but his last international appearance was in last October in the T20 home series against Sri Lanka.

 

However, Umar’s elder brother Kamran, who is also a wicket-keeper batsman, termed the decision ‘very harsh’ and said that his younger brother will "definitely challenge" it.

 

Kamran expressed surprise over the outcome of the PCB hearing, held in Lahore on Monday. 

Kamran International career

 

Kamran has scored 2,648 runs in 53 Tests at an average of 30.79, including 12 fifties and six hundreds.

 

In 157 ODIs, he has accumulated 3,236 runs at an average of 26.1 and a strike rate of 83.94, including 10 fifties and five centuries. While in 58 T20s, he has scored 987 runs at an average of 21.0 and a strike rate of 119.64, including five fifties.

 

"I am definitely surprised at the harsh punishment given to Umar. A three- year ban is very harsh. He will definitely approach every available forum to appeal against this ban," Kamran said.

 

"Definitely it is hard to understand because other players in the past have got short bans for similar offences. Yet Umar has got such a harsh punishment."

 

Akmal was referring to Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Nawaz who were banned for short periods after not reporting approaches made to them.

 

Kamran said Umar would definitely consider hiring a legal counsel to file his appeal on the available forums. Umar presented his own case in Monday's hearing while the PCB was represented by their legal counsel Tafazzul Rizvi.

Umar promised a lot after making a hundred in New Zealand on his Test debut, but failed to live up to the high expectations that came with some fine performances early in his career.

 

Umar appeared before the panel at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore after not challenging a show cause notice issued to him by the PCB Anti-Corruption for not reporting an alleged offer to spot-fix in the 2020 Pakistan Super League.

 

The PCB said it will release more details as soon as it receives them from Justice Chauhan. 

Umar Akmal international career

 

In 16 Tests, he has scored 1,003 runs at an average of 35.82, including six fifties and one hundred.

 

He has played 121 ODIs and scored 3,194 runs at an average of 34.34 and a strike rate of 86.04, including 20 fifties and two centuries. While in 84 T20s, he has accumulated 1,690 runs at an average of 26.00 and a strike rate of 122.73, including eight fifties.

In a hearing held at the National Cricket Academy, Akmal decided to represent himself and was heard at length, while the PCB was represented by Taffazul Rizvi.

 

Akmal was charged with two breaches of Article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents on March 17.

 

"The PCB doesn't take any pleasure in seeing a promising international cricketer being declared ineligible for three years on corruption charges, but this is once again a timely reminder to all who think they can get away by breaching the anti-corruption code," PCB Director (Anti-Corruption and Security) Asif Mahmood, said.

 

"...if some cricketers decide to take the Code in their hands, then this is how things will pan out.

 

"I request all professional cricketers to stay away from the menace of corruption and immediately inform relevant authorities as soon as they are approached," he added.

 

Akmal was provisionally suspended hours before his PSL team Quetta Gladiators was to take on Islamabad in the opening match of the PSL's 2020 edition.

 

'Umar Akmal makes it to the list of idiots': Ramiz Raja

 

Reacting to the ban, former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja said time has come to criminalise match-fixing.

 

"So Umar Akmal officially makes it to the list of idiots! Banned for 3 years. What a waste of a talent! It's high time that Pakistan moved towards passing a legislative law against match fixing. Behind bars is where such jack asses belong! Otherwise brave for more!!" Raja tweeted.

So Umar Akmal officially makes it to the list of idiots! Banned for 3 years. What a waste of a talent! It’s high time that Pakistan moved towards passing a legislative law against match fixing. Behind bars is where such jack asses belong! Otherwise brave for more!!

— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) April 27, 2020
 

Earlier, Umar escaped a ban from PCB in February for for allegedly making crude remarks to a trainer during a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.



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