Omar Akmal left Pakistan to play league cricket in California


Controversial Pakistani cricketer Omar Akmal has left the country to play league cricket in the United States. Akmal recently ended his ban for violating the PCB’s anti-corruption code.

The 31-year-old has signed a short-term contract with the Northern Cricket California Association and is ready to explore the long-term future of severing his relationship with Pakistan cricket, Espncricinfo said. He scored 0, 14, 7, 16 and 29 for the Central Punjab Second XI in the PCB Cricket Associations T20 and decided to move to California.

The Quide-e-Azam Trophy is set to begin on October 20, and it is unclear whether he will return to play in the country’s premier domestic tournament. The website said that Akmal’s comeback was not well received in the circuit and that he was not selected for the ongoing National T20 Cup.

“Some others, who were banned with major charges, gave unprecedented support to his return. The system was never fair to Umar. Numerous compromises were made to select a few players with poor fitness, but the criteria for securing his expulsion were tight,” a family member said.

Akmal has been at the center of controversy several times in his career, but he was banned for 18 months for opposing the corruption of the PCB. The suspension was reduced to six months following a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Akmal was suspended a few hours before facing Islamabad in the opening match of his PSL team Quetta Gladiators 2020 edition. The PCB was accused of violating Section 2.4.4 of the Prevention of Corruption Act in two unrelated incidents that preceded the BSL in February this year. Akmal is the younger brother of former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, who has played 53 Tests, 58 T20s, 157 ODIs and is a relative of current captain Babur Azam.

Akmal, who last played for Pakistan in October, has played in 16 Tests, 121 ODIs and 84 T20Is, scoring 1,003, 3,194 and 1,690 runs respectively. Akmal, who promised a lot after scoring a century in New Zealand in his first Test match, failed to meet high expectations with some excellent performances early in his career.

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