Umar Akmal was banned for three years starting from April by a disciplinary panel having a solitary member of the board after failing to report two approaches by bookies to spot-fix matches in Pakistan Super League in February.
Umar Akmal, the Pakistan batsman on Thursday filed an appeal in the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne to reverse his 18-month ban for not reporting corrupting approaches. Pakistan Cricket Board, on the other hand, appealed in CAS against the reduction of the three-year ban on the wicket-keeper batsman by an independent arbitrator.
Umar Akmal’s Ban Reduced To Half After Initial 3 Years Ban
Former Supreme Court Judge Mr Justice (retd) Faqir Muhammad Khokhar had reduced Umar Akmal’s three-year ban to 18 months. Umar Akmal’s lawyer, however, argued that the verdict can be reversed due to lack of evidence.
PCB banned him from cricket for three years in April after he pled guilty to failing to report corrupt approaches. In July however, his ban was reduced to one and a half years with suspension running from February 2020 to August 2021. In August, PCB appealed the ban reduction to CAS and Umar Akmal appealed to CAS to have his ban overturned.
“They don’t have a single piece of evidence that can prove any wrongdoing. The prosecution was based on a phone call, otherwise there is no document, no bank transaction or anything that can substantiate their claim.”
Earlier, Salman Naseer who is the PCB chief operating officer had called the decision difficult to challenge the independent adjudicator’s verdict.
“It was a difficult decision for us to challenge the independent adjudicator’s decision but after going through the final report we had some concerns and we felt the punishment was not enough as there are two charges of violating the anti-corruption code against Umar,” Naseer had said after the PCB’s appeal in CAS.
At the disciplinary hearing held on 27th April chaired by retired Justice Fazal-e-Miran Chauhan, he appeared without a lawyer and did not pled guilty, but admitted to being approached by two different men on separate occasions but tried to justify the reason behind his non-reportorial to PCB.
Umar Akmal Initially Banned For One Year More Than Mohammad Irfan
Many thought that PCB banned him for three years which was one year more than fellow Pakistani Mohammad Irfan for a similar offence due to lack of remorse on Umar Akmal’s part. But after appealing, his ban was reduced by half.
He is the youngest brother of Adnan and Kamran Akmal who are both wicket-keepers and is the cousin of Pakistan’s batting mainstay, Babar Azam.
Umar Akmal played his last test in 2011 but continued to play white-ball cricket for the national team and his last T20I and ODI matches were in 2019.
Pakistan’s right-handed wicket-keeper batsman Umar Akmal made his ODI, T20I and Test debut in 2009. He has so far appeared in 16 Tests, 121 one-dayers and 84 T20Is where he averages less than 36 in all three formats.
He has also played in many franchise T20 teams around the world.