‘Contacts’ with suspicious people led to Umar Akmal’s suspension

By: News Desk      Published: 02:32 PM, 20 Feb, 2020
‘Contacts’ with suspicious people led to Umar Akmal’s suspension

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday suspended troubled cricketer Umar Akmal with immediate effect under the Board’s Anti-Corruption Code.

PCB’s Anti-Corruption Unit seized Umar Akmal’s cellphone for forensic examination after it was found that he was in contact with some suspicious people, reported 24newshd.tv, quoting sources.

“He was suspended after an initial probe found him guilty,” reported the TV channel.

PCB high-ups held an emergency meeting at a hotel late Wednesday night on the issue and also took the owner of Quetta Gladiators, Nadeem Umar, into confidence.

According to the TV channel, Umar Akmal will now have to appear before PCB’s Anti-Corruption Tribunal.

The dramatic move came a few days after the Board said it would not ban Umar for having uttered some remarks against a trainer during fitness test at Lahore’s National Cricket Academy.

The controversial cricketer, however, could not enjoy his luck much as the Board banned him from playing till further orders.

In a statement, the Board stated that Umar Akmal cannot take part in any cricket-related activity pending the investigation being carried out by its Anti-Corruption Unit.  "As this is an ongoing investigation, the PCB will not make any further comments."

The suspension throws Umar Akmal out of the Quetta Gladiators team, taking part in PSL5, starting today in Karachi.

The PCB, however, maintained that the Gladiators can seek Umar’s replacement.

Reacting to the PCB decision, a Quetta Gladiators spokesman said they will look into the issue and may apply for replacement of Umar Akmal under PCB rules.

About Umar’s suspension, the spokesman said they won’t say anything until the investigation is complete.

Umar Akmal was due to play for defending champions Quetta Gladiators in the six-team PSL. The 29-year-old has received numerous fines and suspensions in his 11-year career and was arrested in 2014 after violating traffic rules in his native Lahore.

Often described as a talented yet undisciplined cricketer, Umar has played 16 Tests, 121 one-day internationals and 84 Twenty20 internationals since his debut in 2009.

He last played for Pakistan in the Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka four months ago, failing to score in both matches.

Earlier this month, the PCB warned Umar over his conduct during a fitness test where he allegedly made crude remarks to a trainer.

Last year, he was fined 20 percent of his match fee for violating the team's curfew in Dubai after he went partying.

Umar also had run-ins with Pakistan's former head coach Mickey Arthur, who sent him home after he failed a fitness test just weeks before the 2017 Champions Trophy in Britain.