The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has reduced Umar Akmal's 18-month ban to one year, making him eligible to return to competitive cricket subject to the payment of a fine of PKR 4.25 million.
CAS announced its decision in response to the appeals filed by both the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Akmal against the Independent Adjudicator.
Akmal originally received a three-year suspension by the PCB in April 2020 for failing to report corrupt approaches and was found guilty of breaching the board's anti-corruption code in two separate unrelated incidents.
He was provisionally banned from the game right before the Pakistan Super League (PSL) last year, prompting his franchise Quetta Gladiators to draft in Anwar Ali as a last-minute replacement.
Akma's ineligibility period was subsequently halved by an independent adjudicator, Faqir Muhammad Khokhar, a former Supreme Court judge.
Seeking further leniency in the treatment meted out to him, Akmal approached the CAS to modify his sentence. The 30-year-old cited the cases of Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Nawaz and Shahzaib Hasan, who received less harsh punishments for seemingly similar offences.
Concurrently, the PCB filed a case in the CAS as well, "focusing on a point of law in regard to the cumulative operation of the sanctions for the two charges upheld by the Independent Adjudicator".
The favourable verdict allows Akmal a chance to reintegrate into representative cricket provided he deposits the hefty fine and undergoes the PCB's rehabilitation program as per the anti-corruption code.
However, the CAS has refused Akmal's request for the return of his two mobile phones, which continue to be held by the PCB as part of a different anti-corruption probe.
The often-controversial cricketer last played for Pakistan during the ill-fated T20I series whitewash at the hands of Sri Lanka in October 2019.
His previous appearance in the domestic arena saw him score a terrific double century for Central Punjab in the final of the 2019/20 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.