Pakistan’s Umar Akmal gets three-year ban for match-fixing approach

Pakistani Test cricketer Umar Akmal leaves the Pakistan Cricket Board office in Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, April 27, 2020. Akmal has been banned for three years from all forms of cricket. (AP Photo)
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Updated 27 April 2020

Pakistan’s Umar Akmal gets three-year ban for match-fixing approach

  • The batsman burst onto the scene with a century in his first Test in 2009, but his career has been marred by disciplinary problems
  • Umar’s ban is the latest in a series of match- or spot-fixing punishments meted out to Pakistani players

LAHORE, Pakistan: Controversial Pakistani batsman Umar Akmal was banned Monday from all forms of cricket for three years after pleading guilty to failing to report match-fixing approaches, the country’s cricket board announced.
Umar, who turns 30 in May, last month withdrew a challenge to the charges.
The batsman’s ban is effective from February 20, when he was provisionally suspended by the board under its anti-corruption code, which states a player must report being approached to fix games.
The decision was announced by a disciplinary committee after a brief hearing of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which charged the player with two breaches.
“The PCB referred the matter to the chairman of the disciplinary committee after determining that the batsman had not requested a hearing,” said the board.
Asif Mahmood — the PCB’s anti-corruption and security director — said authorities took no “pleasure in seeing a promising international cricketer being declared ineligible” for three years on corruption charges, but defended the ban as necessary.
“I request all professional cricketers to stay away from the menace of corruption and immediately inform relevant authorities as soon as they are approached,” Mahmood added.
Umar was whisked away by his driver without speaking to the media after the sentence was delivered.
The batsman burst onto the scene with a century in his first Test in 2009, but his career has been marred by disciplinary problems, resulting in various bans and fines.
He was arrested in February 2014 after a scuffle with a traffic warden who stopped him for a signal violation.
Umar last represented Pakistan in two Twenty20 internationals against Sri Lanka in Lahore last year, falling to first ball ducks on both occasions.
He has so far played 16 Tests, 121 one-day games and 84 Twenty20s for Pakistan.
Umar’s ban is the latest in a series of match- or spot-fixing punishments meted out to Pakistani players.
In 2000, former captain Salim Malik was banned for life and six other players — including greats such as Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis — were fined after a judicial inquiry on fixing.
A decade later then-Test captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were banned for five years in a spot-fixing case over an incident during the team’s tour of England.
The Pakistan Super League’s second edition in 2017 was also marred by a fixing scandal, resulting in a five-year ban on Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif.


Rain causes fresh delay to England-Pakistan 2nd Test

Updated 15 August 2020

Rain causes fresh delay to England-Pakistan 2nd Test

  • Pakistan, 1-0 down in a three-match series, will resume on 223-9 in their first innings
  • Mohammad Rizwan is not out at 60

SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom: Rain meant there was no play before lunch on the third day of the second Test between England and Pakistan at Southampton on Saturday in a match already plagued by stoppages for bad weather.
Play should have resumed at 11:00 am local time (1000 GMT) but light rain meant the pitch and square remained fully covered, with the floodlights then on full beam.
Had the players been on the field, play may well have continued given the rain was only of the ‘spitting’ kind.
But, with no spectators present in a series being played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus, the floodlights were then switched off in a clear indication the umpires had decided there would not be any action before lunch.
Pakistan, 1-0 down in a three-match series, will resume on 223-9 in their first innings, after winning the toss, following a second day where only 40 overs’ play took place.
Mohammad Rizwan batted with huge skill and resolve in overcast, swing-friendly conditions, to be 60 not out.
In partnership with dogged tailender Mohammad Abbas (two off 20 balls), the wicketkeeper took Pakistan past 200 in a ninth-wicket after they had come together with the tourists struggling at 176-8.
This was Rizwan’s second fifty in eight career Tests following his 95 against Australia in Brisbane in November.
Pakistan were also indebted to opener Abid Ali (60) and Babar Azam (47) for painstaking innings when the conditions were stacked against the batsmen.
Meanwhile in-form paceman Stuart Broad became the first England bowler since off-spinner Graeme Swann 11 years ago to take at least three wickets in seven consecutive Test innings thanks to a return of 3-56 in 25 overs.
Broad has taken 25 wickets in four Test so far this season at a misery average of 12.88.
Victory in this match will see England secure their first series win over Pakistan since 2010.