PCB Suspends Akmal Pending Anti-Corruption Investigation

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KARACHI – Umar Akmal’s flatter-to-deceive career took another hit on Thursday when the Paki­stan Cricket Board suspended the batsman with immediate ef­fect, pending an anti-corruption investigation.

The PCB, however, did not get into the specifics of the breach committed by Akmal.

“The Pakistan Cricket Board today suspended Umar Akmal with immediate effect…he cannot take part in any cricket-related activity pending the investigation being carried out by PCB’s Anti-Corruption Unit,” the Board said in a statement.

“As this is an ongoing inves­tigation, the PCB will not make any further comments,” it said.

Akmal was suspended hours before his PSL team Quetta Gladiators was to take on Islam­abad in the opening match of the 2020 edition on Thursday.

“Quetta Gladiators are allowed to apply for Umar Ak­mal’s replacement in the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020,” the PCB added.

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.

The 29-year-old, who last played for Pakistan in October, has featured in 16 Tests, 121 ODIs and 84 T20s, scoring 1003, 3194 and 1690 runs respectively.

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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