Contrite Umar Akmal escapes PCB ban

The alleged misconduct during a fitness test was a result of a misunderstanding, the Board rules.

Umar Akmal has been in and out of the national limited-overs squads in recent years.   -  AP

Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal has escaped a ban from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after having allegedly made crude remarks to a trainer during a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

The PCB has said in a statement that after concluding its proceedings into the alleged misconduct by Umar during a fitness test and after listening to all the parties involved, it was established that the incident happened due to misunderstanding. “Umar Akmal has offered his regrets for his actions and the PCB has reprimanded him and also reminded him about his responsibilities as a senior cricketer,” the PCB said.

“The matter is now closed and the PCB and Umar Akmal will offer no further comments,” the statement concluded.

After the Board appointed its senior official and former Test batsman Haroon Rasheed as head of the inquiry committee, it was expected that Umar would be fined and also banned from the national one-day cup due after the Pakistan Super League. But the youngest of the Akmal brothers apologised and expressed regrets for his reaction during the fitness test and requested the Board for leniency.

Crude remarks

The incident occurred late last month when all the players who hold central and domestic central contracts were directed to take fitness tests at the NCA ahead of the home series against Bangladesh and the Pakistan Super League. During the body-fat test, Umar got frustrated after failing the other tests and made some crude remarks to the trainer while undressing. The trainer is understood to have reported the matter to head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq, and he asked the Board to hold an inquiry.

Umar, who is just 26, last played a Test for his country in September, 2011, but has been in and out of the national squad for limited-overs internationals ever since. His last international appearance was in a T20 international against Sri Lanka in Lahore in October, 2019.

Umar is no stranger to controversies even as he continues to show off his talent at the domestic level. He scored a dashing double-century in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final in Karachi in January, 2020.

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