Pakistan’s Umar Akmal, who recently served out a 12-month ban for failing to report a corrupt approach, has publicly apologised for his actions, admitting that he brought disrepute to Pakistan Cricket. Akmal was handed a 3-year ban last year, which later, upon appealing, got reduced to 12 months.
A controversy-child notorious for making headlines for the wrong reasons, Umar Akmal served out a 12-month suspension recently for twice failing to report corrupt approaches. The PCB had initially handed the 31-year-old a three-year ban for the offence, but, upon multiple appeals, the sentence got reduced to 12 months, which made the batsman free to play professional cricket from February 2021. However, despite serving out the ban, Akmal is yet to feature in any form of professional cricket for his country this year, with his last game coming back in 2019 in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
When Akmal will return to the set-up remains to be seen, but the 31-year-old has, nevertheless, now issued an apology for his actions. In a video released by the PCB, as part of his reintegration and rehabilitation process, Akmal publicly apologised for his actions which led to an eventual ban and admitted that he brought disrepute to Pakistan cricket through his conduct.
"I learnt a lot during this time and due to that mistake Pakistan cricket's reputation suffered badly. I ask for forgiveness from the PCB and from cricket fans around the world,” Akmal said.
"Some people approached me but I was unable to report the same to the anti-corruption unit, due to which I had to face a 12-month ban. I couldn't play cricket despite being a cricketer.
"I learned a lot during this time and today I confess before all of you that that mistake brought disrepute to Pakistan cricket."
Apart from being ordered to undergo a rehabilitation program as per PCB's anti-corruption code, Akmal was also asked to pay a fine of PKR 4.25 million for his actions.