The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has reduced Umar Akmal’s suspension period to 12 months in response to the appeals filed by the cricketer and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Akmal was suspended on February 20, 2020, just before the Pakistan Super League after he was found guilty of breaching Article 2.4.4 of the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Code,
Last year, PCB banned Akmal after discovering that he had failed to inform the board about match-fixers approaching him. Akmal’s mistake was revealed when he mentioned in an interview that he was offered $200,000 by fixers to leave two deliveries in some match, and skip matches against India. The batsman further claimed that he was approached by fixers during the ICC World Cup, including the 2015 edition played in Australia and New Zealand.
Akmal was originally slapped with a three-year ban by a PCB disciplinary panel but he appealed against the verdict, following which a trial procedure with an independent adjudicator in July 2020 reduced his sentence to 18 months.
Subsequently, PCB and Umar Akmal approached the CAS, where the former appealed against the sentence reduction.Akmal argued that the period of his suspension was harsh, compared to the verdicts in earlier cases against Mohammad Nawaz and Mohammad Irfan. Eventually, Akmal won the case and managed to reduce another six months of his sentence. However, CAS denied Akmal’s request of getting his two mobile phones back.
According to the new verdict, he is now eligible to reintegrate into competitive cricket after paying PKR 4,250,000 as a fine and undergoing a rehabilitation program under the PCB Anti-Corruption Code.
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