NEW DELHI: Indian cricket fraternity lamented over the wasted talent of Men in Green middle-order batsman Umar Akmal, after the latter was ousted from all forms of cricket for a period of three years.
Akmal has been banned for breaching Article 2.4.4 of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s Anti-Corruption code. He had failed to disclose corrupt approaches made to him and was suspended just before the beginning of Pakistan Super League (PSL) season five.
While speaking in a YouTube video, former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra stressed that Akmal can’t be excused for failing to report a corrupt approach despite playing international cricket for more than a decade.
“Umar Akmal had a lot of promise and talent. His temperament was sometimes questionable, but that is the case with most Pakistan batsmen and he was no different,” said Chopra. “It might have been an excuse in the earlier era that cricketers didn’t knew the protocols with regards to reporting a fixing approach. But nowadays, every player is taught about these things from the beginning of their career and you know that if someone has approached you with a suspicious offer, then immediately you have to inform. If you fail in doing that, then there is always a doubt that you might have accepted that offer or might be considering it.”
“There will always be a doubt regarding a cricketer who is banned for failing to report an approach from a bookie. Failure to inform is akin to hiding information and you hide something only when you are doing something wrong,” he added.
Renowned Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle, in a tweet, opined that Akmal failed to live up to his potential like Bangladesh cricketer, Mohammad Ashraful, who was also banned for five years, for his involvement in match and spot-fixing in the 2013 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
“To our east and to our west, I saw two extraordinary talents. Mohammad Ashraful and Umar Akmal. It is who you are and what you make of your talent that determines how far you go. Talent by itself is so so inadequate,” Bhogle tweeted.