The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has reduced the ban on cricketer Umar Akmal to 12 months and fined him Rs 4.25 million for breaching the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) anti-corruption code.
Akmal was suspended in February 2020 for failing to report details of corrupt approaches made to him just before the start of the fifth Pakistan Super League.
The verdict from the Lausanne-based body will likely come as a relief for the troubled batsman with a history of disciplinary issues that has earned him a string of fines and bans during his career.
“It’s a big relief for Umar,” the cricketer’s brother Kamran told AFP. “He wants to play cricket and return to the field.”
The court announced its decision on the appeals filed by the PCB and Akmal against the order of the independent adjudicator, a statement by the cricket board said.
The CAS also refused to return two mobile phones to Akmal which are currently in the PCB’s possession for a separate investigation. The CAS noted the PCB had the authority to do so according to the its anti-corruption code, said the statement.
“Akmal […] will now be eligible to reintegrate into competitive cricket subject to deposits of fine of Rs4.25m and undergoing the programme of rehabilitation under the PCB anti-corruption code,” said the statement.
“The PCB once again urges and remind[s] 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.”
Akmal emerged on the international cricket scene with a hundred in his first Test in New Zealand in 2009.
He has so far played 16 Tests, 121 one-day internationals, as well as 84 Twenty20 internationals.
But his career has been bridled by disciplinary problems, including an arrest after scuffling with a traffic warden in 2014.
The batsman was also sent home after he failed a fitness test ahead of 2017 Champions Trophy in England and has been hit with various fines over the years.