Former Supreme Court judge Justice (retired) Faqir Muhammad Khokhar has been appointed as an independent adjudicator to hear tainted batsman Umar Akmal's appeal against the three-year ban for failing to report corrupt approaches, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Sunday. The PCB had banned Akmal from all forms of cricket last month after its disciplinary panel found him guilty of not reporting corrupt approaches ahead of the Pakistan Super League earlier (PSL) this year.
The 30-year-old challenged his ban and the PCB said that the "independent adjudicator will now decide on the date of the appeal hearing". Sports website 'Geo' had reported that Akmal hired the adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs, Babar Awan's law firm to help him in his case. Akmal was suspended hours before his PSL team Quetta Gladiators was to take on Islamabad in the opening match of the 2020 PSL in February.
The PCB charged him for double breach of Article 2.4.4 of its Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents in February this year ahead of the PSL -- a T20 event also featuring international cricketers. He is the younger brother of former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, who played 53 Tests, 58 T20s, 157 ODIs, and cousin of current captain Babar Azam. Akmal, who last played for Pakistan in October, has featured in 16 Tests, 121 ODIs and 84 T20s, scoring 1,003, 3,194 and 1,690 runs across the three formats, respectively.
Akmal, who promised a lot after making a hundred in New Zealand on his Test debut, failed to live up to the expectations that came with some fine performances early in his career. Constant run-ins with the authorities also marred his stop-start career.