Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal has landed in hot waters yet again and this time for his controversial remarks on television regarding getting approached by bookies.
The right-handed batsman Umar, known for his outspoken nature, had made some startling revelation. While Speaking on Samaa TV, he had revealed about being offered money during the 2015 World Cup to “leave two balls alone”.
Moreover, the Lahore-based batter had gone on to claim that he was approached to fix matches in the Hong Kong Super Sixes and the series against South Africa.
Akmal revealed he was offered as many as USD 200,000 to play two dot balls. He said that he was first approached during his second stint at the Hong Kong Super Sixes tournament (in 2012) when he played under the captaincy of his brother Kamran Akmal.
Umar then went on to add he was also approached during the South Africa series in the United Arab Emirates and before Pakistan’s 2015 World Cup group match against India.
The right-handed batsman also reiterated he was always approached by bookmakers before a match against arch-rivals India.
And hours after those sensational claims, the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) summoned the batsman.
“I have helped in getting a lot of people caught. Don’t think any other player has reported so many people to the PCB,” said Akmal in an interview with Samaa TV.
Umar has been told to meet the ACU on June 27 in Lahore – to explain his comments.
“I was approached in my second stint in the Hong Kong Sixes because I was the player of the tournament in my first edition. Our liaison officer made an approach and I informed about it to our management. Our team manager was not with us as he had to return due to the death of someone. Kamran Akmal was our captain and he took the responsibilities of team manager as well,” Umar remarked.
“The liaison officer came to me at 3-4 AM in the morning. He knocked at my door despite the Do Not Disturb tag on the door. He asked me to talk to him for five minutes and it alarmed me. I invited him into the room. He said ‘we will transfer money to your account anywhere in the world. We will give you any amount you want. We will give you diamonds, gold. You have to underperform this tournament.’ I got a bit hyper and asked him to leave,” Umar added.
“I went to Kami bhai’s room and told him that I will not play this tournament. Because, if he can approach me, then it means that this approach is out there in the market already. Kami bhai told me to relax and rang up the chairman and chief selector. They told me that they trusted me and were proud of me,” he further added.
“Sohail Tanvir was also there [he was not a part of Pakistan’s seven-member lineup for the tournament]. He and Kami bhai advised me against sitting out of the tournament saying that it would send a signal that I am weak mentally. Then I prayed to Almighty and asked for his help. Thankfully, I was player of the tournament in that edition as well,” he maintained.
Update: Notice served to Umar Akmal. He has been asked to appear before PCB Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) on June 27.
— PCB Media (@TheRealPCBMedia) June 24, 2018
Umar further said he approached to fix international matches, especially the matches against India. He said that he always reported each and every single approach to the PCB.
According to the articles 2.4.4 and 2.4.5 of the PCB’s Anti-Corruption code, a player has to disclose an approach to himself or any knowledge about misconduct to the PCB Vigilance and Security Department without any unnecessary delay.
“Whenever I get a call [while playing international cricket] I hand out the number to security officers telling them ‘your friend has called, handle him yourself’,” said Akmal.
“I was approached during the South Africa series in the UAE and the 2015 World Cup. The approaches were to spot-fix the game. And to play two dot balls or play a ball in a manner they want me. They asked me to leave two balls and they will give me USD 200,000. I told them to ‘shut up’,” Umar went on to say.
“I was approached before the 2015 World Cup match against India in Adelaide. Whenever I play against India I get approached. After the liaison officer episode, all of the approaches have been on phone and I have told the PCB about every single one of them,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Umar Akmal has fallen out of favour with the national team since being sent home from England before the Champions Trophy after failing two fitness tests last year.
The promising batter last played for Pakistan during the One-day International against Australia on January 26, last year.