PCB takes Umar’s case to CAS
Umar Akmal was certainly relieved that the three-year ban had been lifted for a year and a half. But the 30-year-old Pakistani middle-order batsman is no longer comfortable.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Switzerland against the commutation of his sentence.
Umar’s three-year ban was reduced to a year and a half by an independent judge late last month, sparking a backlash in Pakistan’s cricketing scene. Many were surprised, many criticized the verdict. Some have taken the PCB to task. PCB has finally appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Switzerland against the pardon of controversial batsman Umar, according to PTI.
PCB chief operating officer Salman Naseer confirmed the appeal to the CAS on Tuesday, saying,
“It was a difficult decision for us to challenge the independent adjudicator’s decision but after going through the final report we had some concerns and we felt the punishment was not enough as there are two charges of violating the anti-corruption code against Umar.”
In fact, before the start of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in 2020, Umar received two offers of corruption but did not inform the PCB’s anti-corruption unit. PCB banned Umar from cricket for three years in April after a two-point hearing. Umar later applied for a pardon and on July 29, the PCB’s neutral judge, former Supreme Court Judge Mr Justice (retd) Faqir Muhammad Khokhar, reduced Umar’s ban from three years to 18 months.
Naseer said that after reading the verdict of the impartial judge in detail, they came to know that he (the judge) was not satisfied with the behavior of Umar and the statement made by Umar was contradictory. But the judge reduced his sentence to be sympathetic. This is where the PCB’s objection is whether the punishment for a cricketer who has been offered sympathy twice for being involved in a corruption attempt can be reduced.
“We decided to file the appeal with CAS because when we went through the findings of the independent adjudicator he has noted down firstly he was not satisfied with the Test batsman’s conduct and that it was proven to the hilt that the test batsman’s statements were self-contradictory and not creditable,” Naseer said.
“But the independent adjudicator also wrote that he was looking at the case on compassionate grounds and gave his decision. To us the main question was should the punishment be reduced on compassionate grounds.
“We also felt that the punishment for the two charges 18 months each should run cumulatively and not concurrently which the independent adjudicator eventually decided on.”