Akmal has started consulting some lawyers on the matter and will file an appeal. (Photo Credit: News Nation)
Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal has refused to divulge details of his two meetings with suspected bookies before the Disciplinary Panel which handed him a three-year ban after a hearing, according to Board sources. According to the source, Akmal had a meeting with two unidentified men in Defence Housing Society in Lahore. "Umar claims both these gentlemen met him at parties thrown by friends in DHA. But he has refused to even tell the Anti-Corruption officials what was discussed at these meetings," a reliable source in the Pakistan Cricket Board told PTI.
"Even when the Anti-Corruption officials first presented their report to him on the night between 19th and 20th February in Karachi, Akmal admitted he committed a mistake by not reporting the meetings to them but refrained from giving any details, the source said. Akmal was found guilty of two charges under the PCB Anti-Corruption Code and on April 27, he was banned from cricket activities till February 19, 2023. The 29-year-old has 14 days to appeal against the punishment of two three-year bans which will run concurrently and the PCB will appoint an independent adjudicator to hear it.
Sources close to Akmal said he has started consulting some lawyers on the matter and will file an appeal. The PCB source said Akmal also gave conflicting statements before the Disciplinary Panel hearing on April 27. "He refused to cooperate with the Disciplinary Panel Judge who advised him to come clean and cooperate with the inquiry," the source said. "Umar acted very strange. On One hand, he admits he should have reported the meetings to the PCB but yet refuses to give any details of what was discussed at these meetings."
Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board's disciplinary panel, Justice (retired) Fazal-e-Miran Chauhan has observed in his detailed judgement that Akmal did not show remorse nor did he seek an apology for failing to report corrupt approaches. Akmal had pleaded to Justice Chauhan to take a lenient view of his mistake and let him off with a fine and short ban. Akmal was provisionally suspended on the eve of the Pakistan Super League. He was charged with two breaches of Article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents on March 17.
On April 9, the PCB referred the matter to the disciplinary committee after the batsman opted not to request for a hearing before the Anti-Corruption Tribunal. Akmal is the younger brother of former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, who played 53 Tests, 58 T20s, and 157 ODIs for Pakistan, and cousin of current captain Babar Azam. The right-hander, who last played for Pakistan in October, has featured in 16 Tests, 121 ODIs and 84 T20s, scoring 1003, 3194 and 1690 runs respectively.