- Umar Akmal apologises for causing embarrassment to Pakistan cricket around the world.
- Cricketers are ambassadors of their countries, says Akmal.
- Akmal urges other cricketers to report to the PCB’s ACU as soon as they are approached by anyone suspicious.
Pakistani batsman Umar Akmal has apologised to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and fans for failing to report to the PCB’s anti-corruption authorities that he had been approached by bookies.
“Seventeen months ago, in 2020, I committed a mistake which cost not only my career but also my cricket,” Akmal says in a video clip. “My mistake was that I did not inform the Anti-Corruption Unit in time when some people [bookies] approached me,” he added.
Akmal said as a result, he had to face a 12-month suspension due to the offence. “I couldn’t play cricket despite being a cricketer,” he added.
The batsman said he reflected on a lot of things during the time he was suspended, adding that he had come to the realisation that his actions had caused shame to Pakistan cricket.
“For that, I apologise to my family, to the Pakistan Cricket Board and to cricket fans across the globe,” he said. “I, Umar Akmal, advise you all that as cricketers, you are the ambassadors of your country. Hence, keep your distance from any suspicious activity,” added the batsman.
He concluded the video message by urging other cricketers to report to the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Unit as soon as possible, when they are approached by any suspicious persons.
Umar Akmal banned over match-fixing row
On 27 April 2020, the Chairman Disciplinary Panel had found Akmal guilty on two charges of separate breaches of Article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents and handed a three-year suspension with the periods of ineligibility to run concurrently.
Akmal had landed in hot water after he revealed in an interview that he was offered $200,000 by fixers to leave two deliveries in one of the matches. He had also claimed that he was offered money to skip matches against India.
“I was once offered $200,000 for leaving two deliveries. I was also offered to skip matches against India,” he had said in the interview.
The batsman had also said that he was approached by fixers during the ICC World Cup, including the 2015 edition played in Australia and New Zealand.
However, Akmal had failed to mention if he had reported this to the anti-corruption unit or not.
According to the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Code 2.4.4 and 2.4.5, players are bound to report all the corrupt approaches made to them during any event and failure of doing so carry a minimum punishment of five years.
Akmal was suspended from the Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Feb 2, 202 and charged with two separate violations of the PCB’s code of conduct.