Umar Akmal given harsh penalty because of lack of remorse
The charge against Umar Akmal dealt with a failure to report corrupt approaches, it was expected that his decision to not challenge it would lead to a relatively light sanction. Akmal, however, was banned for three years for this breach of PCB’s anti-corruption code.
This is unprecedented. In similar cases in the past, Mohammad Irfan sat out for six months, while in 2017, Mohammad Nawaz was given a two-month ban. In recent examples outside Pakistan, Shakib Al Hasan – among the senior-most players in the game – was banned for two years with one year of that sentence suspended.
Umar Akmal had been charged by the PCB on two counts of breaching their anti-corruption code ahead of this year’s PSL. ESPNcricinfo understands that in his reply, Akmal did admit the violation, saying that he was approached by two men on separate occasions. He did not inform the authorities of these meetings, which went against protocol and led to his suspension.
Akmal, then, chose to forego the right to a hearing before the anti-corruption tribunal, where he could have pleaded innocence or contested the charges. So his case went directly to the PCB disciplinary panel.
“He was repeatedly attempting to justify his folly,” Taffazul Rizvi, the PCB counsel, told the media after the hearing. “His reply was confused, he neither accepted his position nor denied it. He did admit the questionable incidents yet was offering frivolous justifications for non-reporting. When you admit violation, you leave yourself to the mercy of the tribunal. There is no general exception in the anti-corruption code that you report on your wish or convenience. You either report or do not report.”