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Pakistan Cricketer Umar Akmal Faces Ban over Corruption Charges

Pakistan Cricketer Umar Akmal Faces Ban over Corruption Charges

Highlights:

  • Pakistan’s perennial problem-maker Umar Akmal could face a lifetime ban 
  • He was provisionally suspended by the anti-corruption unit of the PCB 
  • He has 14 days (till March 31) to respond to the charges in writing 

Troubled Umar Akmal faces ban over corruption charges

Middle-order batsman Umer Akmal faces ban as he has been charged with violation of PCB Anti-Corruption Code for not taking the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) into confidence for bookies approaching him.

Controversial Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal could face a lifetime ban if convicted of match-fixing charges unveiled on Friday by the country’s cricket authorities.

The 29-year-old was provisionally suspended by the anti-corruption unit of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on 20 February, the day when the Pakistan Super League (PSL) commenced in Karachi.

The PCB said Umar violated its code on two counts. 

“The PCB has charged Umar Akmal with two breaches of the anti-corruption code which relates to not reporting a fixing offer,” said a PCB release.

Under the PCB anti-corruption code, a player is required to immediately report to a team manager or the officials of the anti-corruption unit when he receives an offer to fix a match.

Under the code, if a player is found guilty the penalty ranges from a suspension of six months to a lifetime ban. Umar has 14 days (till March 31) to respond to the charges in writing.

Umar has a history of disciplinary problems, having been arrested and detained for a day after a brawl with a traffic warden in 2014. He was banned for three months after a spat with the then Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur in 2017.

Also, last month he escaped punishment after making rude remarks to a fitness trainer in Lahore. Often described as a talented yet undisciplined cricketer, Umar has played 16 Tests, 121 one-day internationals and 84 Twenty20 internationals since his debut in 2009.

He last played for Pakistan in the Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka four months ago, failing to score in both matches. Umar’s anti-corruption case is the latest of many that had hit Pakistan cricket in the last 20 years, resulting in life bans and fines on several players.

PCB officials, who were busy perhaps earlier in PSL-5 fanfare, on Friday got time to charge vocal Umar Akmal with two breaches of article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents.

According to PCB the Article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code reads as: “Failing to disclose to the PCB Vigilance and Security Department (without unnecessary delay) full details of any approaches or invitations received by the Participant to engage in Corrupt Conduct under this Anti-Corruption Code”. Umar Akmal was issued the Notice of Charge on Tuesday, March 17, and has 14 days (March 31, 2020) to respond in writing to the charge.

According to Article 6.2, the range of permissible period of ineligibility for those charged and found guilty for a violation of Article 2.4.4 is a minimum of six months and a maximum of a lifetime. Umar Akmal was provisionally suspended on 20 February 2020.

Quetta Gladiators were also allowed to apply for the replacement of Akmal. According to some reports, Akmal was allegedly found asking his trainer about the fat, exposing himself entirely during the test. “Where is the fat?” he asked his trainer.

Umar’s brother Kamran Akmal defended his action had said that his entire action was nothing but a complete “misunderstanding. He had stated that Umar had done it in “mischief”. The PCB will not make any further comment pending the outcome on this case. If the charges against the batsman were proved, he will most likely be banned.

The PSL was hit by a spot-fixing case in 2017 when openers Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif were banned for five years.

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