Umar Akmal makes surprise departure to US

LAHORE: Pakistani cricketer Umar Akmal has left for the US without sharing much details about the reasons for his visit.In a statement, the rig...

Web Desk
Friday Oct 01, 2021

LAHORE: Pakistani cricketer Umar Akmal has left for the US without sharing much details about the reasons for his visit.

In a statement, the right-handed batsman said he was leaving for the US to undertake "personal meetings".

"If all goes well, it's possible I will stay for a certain period of time in the US," he revealed. "I need my supporters to pray for me, like they always have."

Sources said Akmal took the sudden decision to leave for the US, adding that it seemed he was interested in playing cricket there.

"Umar Akmal wasn't seeing a bright future for himself as far as international cricket is concerned, in Pakistan," said sources.

"Chances of him playing for the national team under the current PCB management were very bleak," they added.

A lot of Pakistani cricketers, including batsman Sami Aslam, are playing cricket in the US.

Sami Aslam’s deal with USA Cricket

Pakistan Test cricketer Sami Aslam had struck a deal with USA Cricket according to which he was to spend the better part of the next three years in the United States and then gain eligibility to represent their national team in ODI and T20I cricket.

Aslam last year quit Pakistan’s domestic cricket in favour of moving to the US as he was distraught at being demoted to Balochistan’s Second XI for the National T20 Cup.

Sources had said that Aslam was entering an arrangement with US authorities that will see him spend two years and 10 months playing league cricket in the States and eventually represent the US.

PCB clears Akmal to play club cricket

In August, PCB cleared Akmal to play domestic cricketer as part of his rehabilitation process.

"Umar Akmal has been allowed to resume club cricket activities as part of his rehabilitation process, which commenced last month," the had PCB.

The PCB had said the decision has been taken after Akmal had shown remorse, attended an anti-corruption lecture and participated in a Q&A session conducted by the Security and Anti-Corruption Department.

Match-fixing row

On 27 April 2020, the Chairman Disciplinary Panel had found Akmal guilty on two charges of separate breaches of Article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents and handed a three-year suspension with the periods of ineligibility to run concurrently.

Akmal had landed in hot water after he revealed in an interview that he was offered $200,000 by fixers to leave two deliveries in one of the matches. He had also claimed that he was offered money to skip matches against India.

“I was once offered $200,000 for leaving two deliveries. I was also offered to skip matches against India,” he had said in the interview.

The batsman had also said that he was approached by fixers during the ICC World Cup, including the 2015 edition played in Australia and New Zealand.

However, Akmal had failed to mention if he had reported this to the anti-corruption unit or not.

According to the ICC's Anti-Corruption Code 2.4.4 and 2.4.5, players are bound to report all the corrupt approaches made to them during any event and failure of doing so carries a minimum punishment of five years.

Akmal was suspended from the Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Feb 2, 2020 and charged with two separate violations of the PCB's code of conduct.