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Explained: Why Pakistan cricket board has suspended former ‘keeper Umar Akmal

Umar Akmal, now 29, made his Test debut in New Zealand in 2009, scoring 129 and 75 in a match that Pakistan ultimately lost. Like all Pakistani players of his generation, however, his career was hurt by the country's cricketing isolation.

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 21, 2020 9:21:52 am
Umar Akmal, Pakistan Cricket Board, PCB, Umar Akmal banned, ban on Umar Akmal, Umar Akmal Pakistan, Pakistani player Umar Akmal, Express Explained, Indian Express Akmal has been replaced by Anwar Ali in the Quetta Gladiators side in the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020, which opened in Karachi on Thursday.

On Thursday (February 20), the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) suspended wicketkeeper and middle-order batsman Umar Akmal with immediate effect under Article 4.7.1 of its Anti-Corruption Code.

The suspension has ruled Akmal out of all cricket-related activity until the investigation by the cricket board’s Anti-Corruption Unit is complete. Akmal has been replaced by Anwar Ali in the Quetta Gladiators side in the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020, which opened in Karachi on Thursday.

Pakistan Cricket Board suspends Umar Akmal: Article 4.7.1

The PCB has not specified the reasons for Akmal’s suspension citing the ongoing investigation under Article 4.7.1 of the board’s Anti-Corruption Code for Participants, which came into effect in 2015.

Article 4.7 deals with “Provisional suspension”. Article 4.7.1 says that before charging a Participant with an offence under the Anti-Corruption Code, the PCB “shall have the discretion… to Provisionally Suspend the Participant pending the Anti-Corruption Tribunal’s determination of whether he/she has committed an offence”.

Earlier this month, ESPNCricinfo reported that Umar Akmal was likely to find himself in “hot water” with the board after reportedly misbehaved with staff during a fitness test.

“The junior Akmal is believed to have exposed himself in frustration during one test, and now finds himself facing the prospect of being kicked out of the next domestic tournament,” the ESPNCricinfo report said.

In this March 8, 2014, file photo, Pakistan’s Umar Akmal celebrates against Sri Lanka during their Asia Cup final cricket match in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (AP Photo: A.M. Ahad)

Subsequently, the PCB had conducted an inquiry, which had concluded that the incident was the result of a “misunderstanding”, Dawn reported.

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Who is Umar Akmal?

Umar Akmal, now 29, made his Test debut in New Zealand in 2009, scoring 129 and 75 in a match that Pakistan ultimately lost. Like all Pakistani players of his generation, however, his career was hurt by the country’s cricketing isolation.

Akmal did himself no favours either by repeatedly getting into trouble. In June 2011, he was pulled up for talking to the media out of turn, and was subsequently dropped from the Test match side.

In 16 Tests, Akmal has scored 1003 runs at an average of 35.82. He has played 121 ODIs, scoring 3194 runs at an average of 34.34. He has taken 12 catches in Tests, 77 in ODIs, and 50 in a total 84 T20Is that he has played.

Akmal’s brothers Kamran and Adnan, too are wicketkeepers, and have played for Pakistan.

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