Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal has issued a public apology for not reporting a fixing approach. In a video posted by the Pakistan Cricket Board, the 31-year-old batsman, who served a 12-month ban as punishment, urged the fellow players to report any suspicious activities to the board.
“My name is Umar Akmal. 17 months ago in 2020, I made a mistake that caused damage to both my career and cricket. The mistake happened when some individuals approached me and I could not report it to the anti-corruption unit on time. I had to face a 12-month ban because of this incident. As a cricketer, I could not play cricket. This time was really tough for me. I learned a lot during this time,” Akmal said.
“I admit in front of everyone today that this incident caused damage to Pakistan’s image. I apologise to my family, the PCB and cricket fans all around the world. I, Umar Akmal, would like to request all of you, as ambassadors of the sport, to stay away from any suspicious activities. If any suspicious individuals approach you, please report it to the anti-corruption unit in a timely manner so that your record and career remain clean,” he concluded.
On 27 April 2020, the Chairman Disciplinary Panel found Akmal guilty on two charges of separate breaches of Article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents. The right hander was thus handed a three-year ban. The Pakistan batsman used his right of appeal and an independent adjudicator reduced his punishment to 18 months. The ban was further reduced to 12 months by The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).
Umar’s ban ended in April but the wicketkeeper-batsman was not selected in the Pakistan squad for England and West Indies tours. The chances of Umar making a comeback to Pakistan team anytime soon looks grim at the moment.