Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal has copped a three-year ban from all forms of cricket for not reporting or informing the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) about corrupt approaches.
The 29-year-old was formally banned by a disciplinary council on Monday after being charged by the PCB earlier this year on two accounts of its anti-corruption code of conduct.
Akmal pleaded guilty to both charges.
‘The PCB doesn’t take any pleasure in seeing a promising international cricketer being declared ineligible for three years on corruption charges,’ said PCB director of anti-corruption and security Asif Mahmood.
‘But this is once again a timely reminder to all who think they can get away by breaching the anti-corruption code.’
Akmal’s older brother, Kamran, who also represented Pakistan on national level in more than 50 Test matches and 100 ODIs, also found himself under investigation by the ICC in 2010 for alleged match-fixing during a Test match against Australia at the SCG.
The wicketkeeper dropped four catches during the Australian innings, three of which were from Michael Hussey, who went on to score a century as Pakistan lost the match.
‘I request all professional cricketers to stay away from the menace of corruption and immediately inform relevant authorities as soon as they are approached,’ continued Mahmood.
‘This is in their as well as their teams’ and country’s best interest.’
Umar Akmal’s suspension was welcomed by former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja, who took to Twitter to express his disgust at the batsman’s action, calling him an ‘idiot’.
The tweet was responded to by South African commentator and former Zimbabwe international Pommie Mbangwa, who hinted at jail time as a possible solution to match-fixing in cricket.
So Umar Akmal officially makes it to the list of idiots! Banned for 3 years. What a waste of a talent! It’s high time that Pakistan moved towards passing a legislative law against match fixing. Behind bars is where such jack asses belong! Otherwise brave for more!!
— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) April 27, 2020
This war seems to be being won by the bad guys, Rambo?
He’s quite high profile, isn’t he?
Do you think jail time would win the war?
— Mpumelelo Mbangwa (@mmbangwa) April 27, 2020