The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) request to conduct a hearing on Umar Akmal's ban in Dubai. Earlier this year, Akmal was banned by the PCB for three years for failing to report corrupt approaches, following which its own independent adjudicator reduced the suspension period to 18 months. The matter, eventually, reached the doorsteps of CAS.
According to a source close to the development, the CAS has turned down a request from the Board, which wanted the hearing to be held in Dubai to minimise expenditure. The source said the PCB has now requested for the hearing to be held through a video link, but the CAS is yet to respond. "Umar Akmal's legal team does not want the proceedings to be held through a video link so most likely the CAS will also reject the PCB's fresh request," he said.
Under CAS regulations for an online hearing, the permission of both parties is required. The PCB and Akmal have already responded to the notice of exchange. The CAS is expected to announce a date for the hearing in the coming weeks. Earlier this month, the CAS asked the PCB and Akmal to submit written arguments within 20 days.
The PCB had gone to the CAS with an appeal against the reduction of the three-year ban by its independent adjudicator. On the other hand, the tainted batman wants the ban to be revoked. Former Supreme Court Judge Mr Justice (retd) Faqir Muhammad Khokhar, in his capacity as independent adjudicator, had, in July, reduced Akmal's three-year ban for failure to report two spot-fixing approaches to 18 months.
Justice Khokar noted in his final finding that the stance taken by Akmal is self-contradictory. Akmal had been banned for three years in April by a one-man disciplinary panel of the PCB after two hearings, following which his appeal was heard by the independent adjudicator.