Match Tied (Royal Challengers Bangalore win one-over eliminator)
Umar Akmal has been criticised for his lack of remorse and reluctance to seek an apology in the detailed verdict given by the PCB's Independent Disciplinary Panel.
The troubled middle-order batsman was handed a three-year ban by the PCB for two breaches of the anti-corruption code almost two weeks ago. He will now be eligible to return to any cricket-related activities on February 19, 2023.
The report submitted by the panel's chairman Mr Justice (retired) Fazal-e-Miran Chauhan condemns Akmal's callous attitude during the proceedings and blames his refusal to cooperate with officials for the length of his sentence.
“It appears that he [Umar Akmal] is not prepared to show remorse and seek apology, make admission that he failed to fulfill his responsibility under Anti-Corruption Code, Article 2.4.4, rather he tried to take refuge under the pretext that in the past whenever any such approaches were made, the matter was reported by him," the full judgment reads.
Akmal was provisionally suspended right before the commencement of the Pakistan Super League on February 20. The charges against him related to a failure to report spot-fixing offers immediately to the PCB.
Later, Akmal did not opt for a hearing before the Anti-Corruption Tribunal and chose to accept the sanction imposed on him by the Disciplinary Panel.
Elaborating on the nature of the offences and Akmal's behaviour, Justice Chauhan noted that the 29-year-old could not offer sound reasons when probed for an explanation behind the unnecessary delay in reporting corrupt approaches.
“As far as Charge No.1 is concerned, I do not see any circumstances to mitigate the nature of offence, particularly, when the participant [Umar Akmal] has not cooperated with the PCB Vigilance and Security Department and the investigating team.
“In view of the admission of the participant [Umar Akmal] that he failed to disclose to PCB Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Department, the details of the approaches and invitations extended to him without unnecessary delay. The charge as framed is proved and the participant [Umar Akmal] has rendered himself liable to be punished for breach of Article 2.4.4."
This relevant article states: “Failing 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”.
This major setback obscures Akmal's chances of making a comeback to the national set-up. His career trajectory has been impeded by disciplinary violations and tussles with authorities, rendering his absence from the team for prolonged periods.
The punishment faced by Akmal is longer than the ICC-imposed sanction on Shakib Al Hasan on quite similar charges.
“Charge No.2, breach of Article 2.4.4 of the Code by failing to disclose to the PCB Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Department of the PCB, full details of the approaches and invitations received by you [Umar Akmal] to engage in corrupt conduct under the Code in respect of matches in PSL 2020," Chauhan continued.
“It is also admitted by him [Umar Akmal] that he failed to report the approaches and invitation to the PCB Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Department, as required by the PCB Code, Article 2.4.4. In view of the above charge as framed, stood proven and the participant has rendered himself to be punished under Article 6.2 of the PCB Code.”
Akmal was replaced with Anwar Ali in the Quetta Gladiators squad for PSL 2020 but the defending champions finished fifth on the points table.