Umar Akmal handed three-year ban from all cricket activities



Umar Akmal has been handed a three-year ban from all cricket by Chairman of the Disciplinary Panel Mr Justice (retired) Fazal-e-Miran Chauhan. Umar was suspended on February 20 for two breaches of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code and has now been barred from all cricket activities for three years.

Earlier this month, the middle-order batsman withdrew the option of challenging the PCB decision before the Anti-Corruption Tribunal.

Umar’s case was thus transferred to the Disciplinary Panel, which finalised the sanctions imposed on him after a thorough review of the charges laid out against him.

The full details of the case have not yet been revealed as the PCB stated that it “will release reasons as soon as it receives them from Justice Chauhan”.

Umar was formally charged by the PCB for violating Article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code on two unrelated occasions on March 17. The article refers to a failure 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”.

Accordingly, the period of ineligibility for Umar was supposed to range between six months to a lifetime ban based on the severity of his offence.

“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,” said Lt Col Asif Mahmood, PCB’s Director of Anti-Corruption and Security.

“I request all professional cricketers to stay away from the menace of corruption and immediately inform relevant authorities as soon as they are approached. This is in their as well as their teams’ and country’s best interest,” he added.

This turn of unfortunate events is the latest blow to Umar’s 11-year career that has been often blighted with disciplinary infringements.

In February 2020, the 29-year-old was reprimanded by the PCB for misconduct during a fitness test when he exposed himself to his trainer. The incident was termed as a “misunderstanding” by the board.

Three years ago, Umar had a public fallout with then-head coach Mickey Arthur, resulting in a three-month ban. Umar had accused the South African of using abusive language and mistreating him.

Issues of substandard fitness and inconsistency have also plagued his infrequent stints in international cricket. He last donned national colours in the T20I series against Sri Lanka in Lahore in 2019, where he made golden ducks on both occasions to cap off a forgettable comeback.

He has represented Pakistan in 16 Tests, 121 ODIs and 84 T20Is since making an electrifying debut in 2009 including a Test ton in New Zealand.

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