Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal gestures after scoring a half century. File photo
Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal's three-year ban from cricket for failing to report a match-fixing approach was on Wednesday reduced to 18 months on appeal, meaning he can resume playing in August next year.
Former Pakistan supreme court judge and independent adjudicator Faqir Mohammad Khokhar announced the appeal result, which had been reserved two weeks ago, after a short hearing in Lahore attended by Akmal and his lawyer.
Akmal pleaded guilty in April to a charge of failing to report two match-fixing approaches and received a three-year ban for each offence, to run concurrently from Feb. 20.
The anti-corruption code of Pakistan cricket Board states that players must report all the corrupt approaches to the authorities.
Despite the reduction, Akmal complained he had been unfairly treated.
"I am still not satisfied because other players got less punishment on the same charge," Umar told media, referring to a one-year ban (six months suspended) handed to fast bowler Mohammad Irfan in 2017.
Irfan had not contested the charge of failing to report and was given an "agreed sanction".
"I will consult my lawyers and then try to get it reduced further," Akmal said.
Following a brilliant Test debut in 2009 when he scored a century in New Zealand, the talented Akmal was touted as a future great but his career has been punctuated by controversy before this year's ban.
Akmal was arrested in 2014 after a scuffle with a traffic warden in Lahore.
And he was banned for three matches and fined over a spat with Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur in 2017.Agence France-Presse
Left-arm seamer Shaheen Afridi (3-28) had helped reduce the Black Caps to 46-4 and 83-5, when Kane Williamson was out for 41.
Pakistan kept their nerve to avoid a huge shock on Saturday, beating a spirited Afghan side by three wickets with just two balls to spare to keep their World Cup semi-final hopes alive.
Fakhar Zaman led the way with 76 while fellow opener Abid Ali scored 74 and Haris Sohail 56. It was Amir who gave Pakistan an early breakthrough when he had Avishka Fernando caught behind for four by Sarfaraz Ahmed,
The announcement comes in line with the objectives of Dubai Vision 2021, which aims to strengthen Dubai's position as a preferred place to live and work.
This series is being played under special protocols because of the global coronavirus outbreak, with the PCB statement adding the decision to isolate Hafeez had been taken "for his and, the safety and security of everyone around him."
The UAE is set to add another feather to its cap by hosting the cricket’s biggest extravaganza – Indian Premier League (IPL) – at the time of the pandemic after the clearance by the Indian government.