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Pakistan suspend Umar Akmal under anti-corruption code

Last updated on: February 20, 2020 15:46 IST
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Umar Akmal

IMAGE: Umar Akmal was sidelined by the national selectors. Photograph: Martin Hunter/Getty Images

The Pakistan Cricket Board said on Thursday it had suspended batsman Umar Akmal with immediate effect under its anti-corruption code.

 


The PCB said Akmal “... cannot take part in any cricket-related activity pending the investigation being carried out by PCB’s Anti-Corruption Unit.”

The announcement came hours before Akmal’s Quetta Gladiators begin their Pakistan Super League title defence against Islamabad United in Karachi.

“...@TheRealPCB is already investigating the matter of Umar Akmal and the franchise will not make any comment until inquiry is concluded,” tweeted the Gladiators, who have been allowed to apply for a replacement.

The 29-year-old, who has played 16 Tests and 121 one-day internationals, last played for Pakistan in a Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka in October last year.

"The information is that Umar was made this offer few days back by a Pakistani and didn't report it immediately to the Anti-Corruption Unit as required under the rules," the source said.

"Worse he met with the gentleman again and the ACU, while questioning Umar yesterday, showed him some evidence of the meeting and some messages," he said.

"Quetta Gladiators are allowed to apply for Umar Akmal's replacement in the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020," the PCB statement read.

He is the younger brother of former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, who played 53 Tests, 58 T20s, 157 ODIs, and cousin of current captain Babar Azam.

Akmal, who promised a lot after making a hundred in New Zealand on his Test debut, has failed to live up to the high expectations that came with some fine performances early in his career.
Constant run-ins with the authorities have also marred his stop-start career.

Earlier this month, Akmal had escaped a PCB ban for allegedly making crude remarks to a trainer during a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

The suspension of Umar is similar to what happened at the onset of the PSL's third edition in Dubai when two Pakistan players, Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif who were in the Islamabad United franchise, were suspended and sent home under the Anti-Corruption Code.

Later Sharjeel was banned for five years (half of it suspended) for breaching five clauses of the code and Latif was banned for 10 years for similar offences.

Sharjeel has now returned to cricket and is representing Karachi Kings in the PSL after completing his ban period and fulfilling all requirements of the PCB's rehabilitation program.

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