On Friday, the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) reduced the suspension period of Pakistan’s middle-order batsman Umar Akmal from 18 months to one year and has imposed a fine of Rs 4.25 million.
With this decision, Umar Akmal is now eligible to play competitive cricket subject to deposit of fine. He was suspended from playing cricket on February 20, 2020.
“CAS has announced its decision on the Appeals filed by PCB and Umar Akmal against the order of the independent adjudicator. CAS through a consolidated Order on both Appeals has been pleased to impose on Umar Akmal a sanction of a 12-month ban and a fine of PKR4.25million on one count of breaching Article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code,” the PCB said in a statement.
“Umar Akmal, who was suspended on 20 February 2020, will now be eligible to reintegrate into competitive cricket subject to deposits of fine of PKR4,250,000 and undergoing the program of rehabilitation under the PCB Anti-Corruption Code,” the statement added.
“CAS has also refused the request of Umar Akmal seeking return of his two mobile phones, which are in PCB’s custody for some different investigation and held that under the PCB Anti-Corruption Code it has the power to do so,” the PCB further stated.
On 27 April 2020, the Chairman Disciplinary Panel had found Umar Akmal guilty on two charges of separate breaches of article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code. He was handed a three-year suspension which was due to run concurrently.
On July 29, 2020, Umar Akmal exercised his right of appeal and the independent adjudicator reduced the suspension period form three years to 18 months.
Both PCB and Umar Akmal went to CAS against this order. Umar Akmal was of the view that he was not guilty of both charges while PCB appeal focused on the point of law in regard with the cumulative operation of the sanctions for the two charges upheld by the independent adjudicator.
“The PCB once again urges and remind all participants to abide by their duty and promptly report any approaches to the anti-corruption offices and help themselves as well as the anti-corruption unit effort to eliminate the anathema of fixing.”