Umar Akmal to play domestic cricket for Central Punjab after serving ban

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05 Sep 2021 | 01:54 PM
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Umar Akmal to play domestic cricket for Central Punjab after serving ban

Akmal was banned from competitive cricket by the PCB in 2020 for not reporting spot-fixing offers during the PSL

Wicketkeeper-batsman Umar Akmal is set to play competitive cricket for the first time since February 2020 after being named in the Central Punjab squad for Pakistan's upcoming provincial domestic season.

Akmal, who was recently allowed to resume playing club cricket in Lahore, was banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) last year for not reporting spot-fixing offers made to him during the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The 31-year-old had apologized for his actions and has also attended anti-corruption lectures by the PCB.

"Umar apparently has realised his mistake during this rehab program and he showed clear remorse for his actions which is good enough for us to allow him now to return to first class cricket," a PCB official said.

The 31-year old has played 16 Tests, 121 ODIs and 84 T20 internationals for his country. His last appearance in an international match came in November 2019 when he played in a T20 series at home against Sri Lanka.

Before his ban in February 2020 Umar had slammed a hundred in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final for Central Punjab.

Besides serving a ban, he also had to pay a fine of 4.2 million rupees to the PCB for his failure to report the spot-fixing offers. The PCB has announced six provincial squads for the domestic season with 32 players in each side set to get domestic contracts from the Board.

The Board didn't include any centrally-contracted player in the squads announced this week. Akmal has been embroiled in a number of controversies and disciplinary issues since making his debut for Pakistan in 2009. His elder brother and Test wicketkeeper, Kamran Akmal said people will see a reformed version of Umar in the coming domestic season.

"We have had a lot of discussions with him as a family and he has also been reviewing things himself and he knows where he has improve himself," Kamran said.

The National T20 will be held from September 25 to October 13. The Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Pakistan's premier first-class tournament,  will be played from October 20 to December 29.

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