Tainted Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal recently revealed that he didn’t report the spot-fixing approach made to him to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) fearing a breach of confidentiality. The 30-year-old had his ban reduced to 12 months on Friday (February 26) and is now eligible to resume playing professional cricket.
On February 20 last year, Umar Akmal was handed a three-year ban from all forms of cricket by the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Tribunal for failing to report an approach that was made during the Pakistan Super League 2020.
The wicketkeeper-batsman opened up on why he chose to keep the matter away from the PCB Vigilance and Security Department.
“I opted against reporting the matter to the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Unit as I was concerned the information would be leaked out and not remain confidential,” Umar Akmal told reporters in Lahore on Saturday.
He further added that he had even gone to disclose the misdeed directly to PCB chairman Ehsan Mani, but it didn’t work out as he was busy.
“I had every intention of reporting the matter. I went to meet Board chairman to tell him the approach made to me to spot-fix in Pakistan Super League. Unfortunately, I could not meet him as he was busy and this issue happened. I have never been involved in such practices because to me, to play for Pakistan is the biggest honour,” Umar Akmal explained.
The information reached the ACU before the chairman and Umar Akmal was booked under the Anti-Corruption Code.
“I want to resurrect my Pakistan career” – Umar Akmal
Even though the initial ban period was three years, an Independent Adjudicator had later reduced it to 18 months. There was a two-fold battle in progress at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). While Akmal wanted the ban to be completely scrapped, the PCB wanted an extension of the same.
It was on Friday that the Lausanne-based court rejected the PCB’s appeal and ruled one breach of the Anti-Corruption Code by Akmal. The final verdict was a 12-month ban and a fine of 42.50 lakh Pakistani rupees on the right-hander.
In essence, his ban ended on March 19 this year. Umar Akmal sounds focused on completing his rehabilitation and getting back into the Pakistan cricket team.
“Cricket is my bread and butter, and I know how much loss I have suffered in the last one year away from the sport. I want to resurrect my Pakistan career and hopefully, I can do that. I have learnt a lot in these last 12 months and hopefully I can just focus on cricket now as there is a lot of cricket left in me,” Umar Akmal concluded.
Since making his international debut in 2009, Umar Akmal has scored 5,887 runs across 16 Tests, 121 ODIs and 84 T20Is with 3 hundreds and 34 fifties.