Umar Akmal has opened up about the corrupt approaches, his ban, and his life in the last 12 months as his ban – which was initially 3 years, then got reduced to 18 months, and then to 12 months – will soon be completed, and by late March he will once again be eligible to play cricket.
In February last year, Umar Akmal was suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for failing to report fixing approaches by bookies in the Pakistan Super League. On 27 April 2020, the Chairman Disciplinary Panel had found Umar Akmal guilty on two charges of separate breaches. of Article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code. On two subsequent appeals, the ban got sized down to 18 months, and further by 6 months; he has been fined PKR4.25 million.
I was concerned the information would be leaked out and not remain confidential: Umar Akmal
Speaking to reporters in Lahore, Akmal revealed that he didn’t report the corrupt approaches on the onset lest the news blowing up in the media. The 30-year-old also revealed that he went to meet the PCB chairman, but could not meet him – unfortunately, for Akmal, things transpired quicker than he anticipated and he was caught by the ACU.
“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. I had every intention of reporting the matter. I went to meet the 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,” Umar Akmal said.
“I have never been involved in such practices because to me to play for Pakistan is the biggest honor,” he added.
Umar Akmal, who last played for Pakistan in October 2019, hopes to represent his country once again. He will back in the domestic mix to make a contention to return to the side with two T20 World Cups coming up in consecutive years.
“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 learned 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,” the right-hander further added.