Umar Akmal leaves Pakistan to play in the US

Umar Akmal
Umar Akmal never really lived up to expectations. File photo: AFP

Karachi: Controversial Pakistan cricketer Umar Akmal has left the country to play league cricket in the United States.

Akmal had recently completed his ban for breaching Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)'s anti-corruption code.

Espncricinfo reported that the 31-year-old has signed a short-term contract with Northern Cricket California Association and is open to exploring a long-term future which will sever his ties with Pakistan cricket.

He scored 0, 14, 7, 16 and 29 for the Central Punjab Second XI in the PCB Cricket Associations T20 tournament before deciding to go to California.

Quaid-E-Azam Trophy is scheduled to start on October 20 and it is not clear if he will come back from to play in the country's premier domestic competition.

The website claimed that Akmal's comeback wasn't well-received in the circuit and he was not selected for the ongoing National T20 Cup.

"There are a few others who were banned with bigger charges but given unprecedented support to make a comeback. The system was never fair to Umar. There were blatant compromises made to select a few players with poor fitness, but the benchmark was made tighter for him to make sure he was kept out," said a family member.

Akmal has been at the centre of controversy many times in his career but he got his 18-month ban for breaching PCB's anti-corruption. The suspension was reduced later to six month following the verdict of Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).

Akmal was suspended hours before his PSL team Quetta Gladiators was to take on Islamabad in the opening match of the 2020 edition.

The PCB charged him for two breaches of Article 2.4.4 of its Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents in February this year ahead of the PSL.

Akmal is the younger brother of former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, who played 53 Tests, 58 T20s, 157 ODIs, and cousin of current captain Babar Azam.

Akmal, who last played for Pakistan in October, has featured in 16 Tests, 121 ODIs and 84 T20s, scoring 1,003, 3,194 and 1,690 runs respectively.

Akmal, who promised a lot after making a hundred in New Zealand on his Test debut, failed to live up to the high expectations that came with some fine performances early on in his career.

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