Controversial Pakistani middle order batsman Umar Akmal has lodged a formal appeal against the decision of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s disciplinary panel to suspend him for 3 years on account of having seriously breached the board’s code of conduct. The 29 year old was banned from all representative cricket by Justice (retired) Fazal-e-Miran Chauhan, the Chairman of the Disciplinary Panel, on April 27 for two unrelated transgressions of the aforementioned code.
In his remarks after the April 27 judgement, Justice Chauhan had said: “It appears that he (Umar Akmal) is not prepared to show remorse and seek apology, make admission that he failed to fulfill his responsibility under Anti-Corruption Code, Article 2.4.4, rather he tried to take refuge under the pretext that in the past whenever any such approaches were made, the matter was reported by him. As far as Charge No.1 is concerned, I do not see any circumstances to mitigate the nature of offence, particularly, when the participant has not cooperated with the PCB Vigilance and Security Department and the investigating team. In view of the admission of the participant that he failed to disclose to PCB Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Department, the details of the approaches and invitations extended to him without unnecessary delay. The charge as framed is proved and the participant (Umar Akmal) has rendered himself liable to be punished for breach of Article 2.4.4.”
As per clause 37 of the PCB’s constitution, within a fortnight, Akmal’s appeal will require the appointment of an independent adjudicator. This independent judge will review the case and the quantum of punishment.
Akmal was provisionally suspended on February 17, withdrawn from PSL 2020 and later formally charged by the PCB on March 20 for breaches of Article 2.4.4 which deals with “Failing to disclose to the PCB Vigilance and Security Department (without unnecessary delay) full details of any approaches or invitations received by the Participant to engage in Corrupt Conduct under this Anti-Corruption Code”.
His case was transferred to the Disciplinary Panel after he decided not to contest the charges before the Anti-Corruption Tribunal. His decision to forego a challenge, effectively left him having to accept the sanctions of Justice Chauhan, which, as per the code, could have ranged anything from a 6 month suspension to be banned for life.