Claiming to have learned his lessons, the controversial Pakistan batsman has apologized for not reporting corrupt approaches last year, which led to him being banned for 12 months. The 30-year-old keeper was last year suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Umar Akmal Asks Forgiveness From The PCB For Not Reporting Corrupt Approaches
The batsman was banned in February 2020 for failure to report approaches before PSL 2020. The Court of Arbitration for Sport had reduced his ban to 12 months but hit him with a fine of 4.25 million Pakistani Rupees for breaching the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Code.
“Seventeen months ago, I made a mistake which caused damage to my cricket and career. I learned a lot during this time and due to that mistake, Pakistan cricket’s reputation suffered badly. I ask for forgiveness from the PCB and from cricket fans around the world,” said Akmal in a video released by the PCB on Wednesday (July 7).
Umar Akmal admitted that the period had been “very difficult for him”.
“Some people approached me but I was unable to report the same to the anti-corruption unit, due to which I had to face a 12-month ban. I couldn’t play cricket despite being a cricketer. I learned a lot during this time and today I confess before all of you that that mistake brought disrepute to Pakistan Cricket.”
The batsman was banned in February 2020 for failure to report approaches related to fixing just before the start of the fifth season of the Pakistan Super League. Tainted Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal paid the hefty fine of PKR 4.5 million to Pakistan Cricket Board making himself eligible to join the anti-corruption rehabilitation program of the cricket board.
Umar Akmal Urges Fellow Cricketers To Report Any Suspicious Activities
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has reduced the ban on Umar Akmal to 12 months but also penalized him with a fine of 4.25 million Pakistani Rupees for breaching the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Code.
Akmal also had a message for fellow cricketers. “I, Umar Akmal, would like to request all of you, as ambassadors of the sport, to stay away from any suspicious activities. If any suspicious individuals approach you, please report it to the anti-corruption unit in a timely manner so that your record and career remain clean.”
Umar Akmal has played 16 Tests, 121 ODIs, and 84 T20Is and last played against Sri Lanka in 2019 in a T20I. A Pakistan Cricket Board official was quoted that Umar Akmal might not be able to return to competitive action immediately despite paying the fine. Since Umar Akmal had already served the 12-month ban after being suspended from February 2020, he was eligible to return to cricket after paying the fine.
Umar Akmal, who will turn 31 this month, has not played for Pakistan since November 2019 when he last appeared in a T20 series at Lahore against Sri Lanka while his last Test appearance for his country was way back in late 2011 while his last ODI series was in March-April 2019 against Australia.