Karachi: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has challenged the decision of independent adjudicator in the case of corruption of Omar Akmal. PCB Chief Operating Officer Salman Naseer confirmed that an appeal has been filed on behalf of the board in the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne. The independent adjudicator had cut the three-year ban on this Pakistani batsman shortly before.
Naseer said, “The decision to challenge the independent adjudicator was difficult for us but after reading the final report we had some concerns and we felt that the punishment was not enough as there were two allegations against Umar for violation of the anti-corruption code.”
The PCB's independent adjudicator, former Supreme Court Judge Faqir Muhammad Khokhar, on July 29 reduced the three-year ban on Umar to 18 months. Justice (retd) Khokhar was hearing the case of Umar's failure to report two corrupt contacts just before Pakistan Super League (PSL) in 2020. Umar appealed against a three-year ban imposed by the board's discipline panel in April, on which Khokar ruled.
Naseer said, “We decided to file an appeal in the sports tribunal because when we looked at the decision of the independent adjudicator, he wrote that he is not satisfied with the conduct of the Test batsman and it has been proved that the statements of Umar are contradictory and not reliable.”
PCB Chief Operating Officer said, “But Justice (retd) Khokhar also wrote that he is looking at the matter on sympathy and gave his decision. The main question for us is whether the punishment should be reduced on the basis of sympathy.”
Naseer said, “We also felt that the 18-month sentence for each of the two charges should run separately and not together.” He said that the PCB wanted to give a clear message of zero tolerance and also wanted some clarity on the rules of the Anti-Corruption Code.