Cricketer Umar Akmal on Friday admitted to meeting a bookie and failing to inform the Pakistan Cricket Board of the matter, sources told Geo News.
Akmal was suspended by the PCB on Thursday from cricket-related activities for violating an anti-corruption code.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Akmal admitted to the meeting after strong evidence in this regard was presented to him by the anti-corruption unit of the PCB. On Thursday night, Geo News had reported that the board intercepted a phone call Umar had made to bookies.
Senior sports journalist Abdul Majid Bhatti, while speaking to anchor Shahzeb Khanzada, said that sources in the PCB had confirmed that the cricketing body possessed the record of an intercepted phone call between Akmal and bookmakers.
According to Bhatti, the anti-corruption unit of PCB monitored the suspicious conversations Akmal was having with bookies for a full four-days before taking up the matter with PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani on Wednesday night.
Besides Mani, PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan, the head coach of Quetta Gladiators, Moin Khan, and the owner of the Quetta team, Nadeem Omar, were also present in the meeting, Bhatti told Khanzada.
The anti-corruption unit has also confiscated cell phones of the cricketer.
The PCB, in its press release issued yesterday, said the suspension was “effective immediately under Article 4.7.1 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code, which means he cannot take part in any cricket-related activity pending the investigation being carried out by PCB”.
Big blow for Quetta Gladiators, PSL
The scourge of corruption reared its ugly head again on Thursday and the timing couldn’t have been worse, writes sports journalist Khalid Hussain.
Hussain believes Umar’s is a big jolt for the PSL and has affected the celebrations surrounding the fact that the whole tournament was being played on Pakistani soil.
The journalist argues that Umar who was once regarded as one of the most promising Pakistani batsman has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. During his 11-year career he has been slapped with several penalties but this one, related to corruption, could well be the worst.
Hussain argues that the latest suspension adds to Umar’s bad boy image, adding that if he is found guilty then it could be the end of his international career.