Umar Akmal’s Ban Reduced to 18 Months, Says Will Appeal for More Reprieve
- Updated: July 29, 2020
Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal’s three-year ban for failing to report corrupt approaches earlier this year was on Wednesday reduced to 18 months. Akmal’s ban will effectively run from February 2020 to August 2021 after the 30-year-old’s sentence was reduced by independent adjudicator Faqir Mohammad Khokhar.
The batsman expressed dissatisfaction with the ruling and vowed to appeal again.
“There have been many cricketers before me who have committed corruption but none of them were given a punishment as severe as mine. I will appeal once more to get my sentence reduced,” Akmal was quoted as saying by the local media here after the fresh decision. Akmal was handed a three-year ban in April for failing to report approaches ahead of the Pakistan Super League. He had accepted his mistake but tried to justify his position.
He last played a Test for Pakistan in late 2009 but his most recent international appearance was in last October in the T20 home series against Sri Lanka. The PCB had charged him with two breaches of Article 2.4.4 of its Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents on March 17. The breaches pertain to failure to report approaches from corruptors.
Akmal was provisionally suspended hours before his Pakistan Super League team Quetta Gladiators was to take on Islamabad in the opening match of the 2020 PSL. He is the younger brother of former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, who played 53 Tests, 58 T20s, and 157 ODIs for Pakistan, and cousin of current captain Babar Azam.
He has featured in 16 Tests, 121 ODIs and 84 T20s, scoring 1003, 3194 and 1690 runs respectively. Akmal 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.
Constant run-ins with the authorities also marred his stop-start career. Akmal had earlier escaped a PCB ban in February for allegedly making crude remarks to a trainer during a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.