Kamran Akmal reacts after PCB objects Umar's ban reduction
Kamran Akmal criticized the Pakistan Cricket Board for challenging the ban reduction of his brother, Umar Akmal. Notably, the three-year ban of Umar for failing to report corrupt approaches was reduced to 18 months on "compassionate" grounds, in June this year. The 30-year-old was banned from competitive cricket for three years, after being charged with two breaches of PCB's anti-corruption code. Here is more.
"Umar is being treated unjustly because in the past he has always cooperated with the authorities and this time also he admitted the mistake of not reporting the matter to the authorities. Even the reduced 18 months ban is hard on him," Kamran said.
In April, the board had banned Umar Akmal for three years after he did not report corrupt approaches ahead of the PSL. The board had charged him with two breaches of Article 2.4.4 of its Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents on March 17, as he failed to disclose the information. Although Umar accepted the charges, he filed an appeal against the judgement.
Recently, independent adjudicator Justice (retd.) Faqir Muhammad Khokhar reduced Umar's ban from three years to 18 months. Khokhar, in his order, stated he reduced the length of the ban out of compassion. Meanwhile, the wicket-keeper said he will appeal to reduce the ban further.
The decision to reduce Umar's ban was challenged by the board on Monday. Notably, the cricket board has called for a stricter punishment as a part of its drive against corruption. "The PCB doesn't take any pride in seeing Umar being banned for corruption, but as a credible and respectable institution, we need to send out a loud and clear message," an official said.
The Pakistan Cricket Board slammed Umar for not reporting the approaches. "The PCB takes matters relating to anti-corruption very seriously and firmly maintains a zero-tolerance approach. The PCB believes a senior cricketer like Umar Akmal was aware of the consequences when after having attended a number of anti-corruption lectures, still failed to report the approaches to the relevant authorities," a press release read.
Umar's brother Kamran, in April, termed the punishment "harsh", stating several cricketers got away with similar offenses. "I am definitely surprised by the punishment given to Umar. A three-year ban is very harsh. He will definitely approach every available forum to appeal against this ban. Other players in the past have got short bans for similar offenses. It's a harsh punishment," Kamran had said.