Udayavni Special

PCB to challenge Umar Akmal’s ban reduction in CAS


PTI, Aug 11, 2020, 8:49 AM IST

Islamabad: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday announced it will file an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) against the reduction of the ban on batsman Umar Akmal for breaching its Anti-Corruption Code.

Last month, the three-year ban initially handed to Akmal for failing to report corrupt approaches was reduced to 18 months on “compassionate” grounds by independent adjudicator Faqir Mohammad Khokhar.

Under Article 7.5.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code, an appeal against the decision of the independent adjudicator lies exclusively before the Switzerland-based CAS.

“The PCB takes matters relating to anti-corruption very seriously and firmly maintains a zero-tolerance approach,” a PCB statement said.

“The PCB believes a senior cricketer like Umar was aware of the consequences when, after having attended a number of anti-corruption lectures at the domestic and international level, having witnessed the consequences of indulging in corrupt conduct, still failed to report the approaches to the relevant authorities,” it added.

Akmal’s ban was to run from February this year to August 2021 after the 30-year-old’s sentence was reduced.

“The PCB doesn’t take any pride in seeing a cricketer of Umar’s stature being banned for corruption, but as a credible and respectable institution, we need to send out a loud and clear message to all our stakeholders that there will be no sympathy whatsoever for anyone who breaches the regulations,” the statement said.

The Board added that it has submitted a draft proposal with the relevant government authorities to bring a legislation on criminalizing corruption in sports.

“It has also reviewed the existing legislation enacted within Pakistan whilst noting that the same fail to adequately target and address corruption/illegal manipulation in sports,” it further read.

“In the draft paper, the PCB has proposed severe sanctions pertaining to corruption, illegal manipulation, betting, match, and spot-fixing as well as aiding and abetting such conduct; and proposes the penalties to be imposed on individuals found guilty of engaging in such offenses,” the statement read.

Akmal was handed a three-year ban in April for failing to report approaches ahead of the Pakistan Super League. He had accepted his mistake but also tried to justify his position.

He last played a Test for Pakistan in late 2009 but his most recent international appearance was in last October in the T20 home series against Sri Lanka.

The PCB had charged him with two breaches of Article 2.4.4 of its Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents on March 17, pertaining to failure to report approaches from corrupt people.

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