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Mohammad Sami and Umar Akmal under the scanner as match-fixing allegations resurface

Srikant
ANALYST
News
790   //    18 Jul 2017, 22:21 IST
Mohammad Sami Umar Akmal Pakistan Cricket
The PCB has been silent as to whether the duo are under investigation or not

What’s the story?

The cloud of match-fixing returned to haunt Pakistan cricket on Tuesday with reports that Mohammad Sami and Umar Akmal are under investigation for their alleged involvement in match-fixing.

Though the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have refrained from naming any players who are under the scanner of the disciplinary committee, it is believed that the two experienced campaigners could land themselves in trouble soon. 

A top official of the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom as well as outgoing PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan is said to have referred the above cricketers to the match-fixing investigators. PCB legal advisor, Salman Naseer, however, refused to back the reports and instead asked the media to be more patient.

"I would advise the media and everyone else to refrain from taking names of any players without official confirmation as it causes problems and so far I don't recall anyone in the tribunal and board taking the names of these two players anywhere," he said.

In case you didn’t know...

The menace of match-fixing reared its ugly head once again in Pakistan cricket during the Pakistan Super League with the duo of Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif suspended for their involvement in the scandal. Mohammad Irfan too suffered a similar fate for failing to report the offence in spite of having knowledge of it. 

The scandal followed the 2010 spot-fixing scandal involving Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, and Mohammad Amir and though not as high profile as the situation in England, the names of Akmal and Sami being mentioned is an indication that more and more players may have been involved than first suspected. 

Extra Cover: No PCB central contract: Is this the end of Umar Akmal?

The details

While the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy success has breathed fresh life into Pakistan cricket, the match-fixing scandal refusing to go away is something that will be causing the PCB a lot of headaches.

Both Sami and Akmal have plenty of experience behind them but are currently out of favour with the national team, with the latter being infamously sent back home from England after failing two fitness tests ahead of the Champions Trophy. 

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Sami, on the other hand, is in high demand in T20 leagues across the globe such as the Carribean Premier League and the Bangladesh Premier League but has seen questions raised against him after the recent reports. 

What’s next?

With the PCB refusing to divulge any details about investigations against the duo, both Sami, and Akmal, who is currently undergoing treatment for a knee problem in England, will have the media following their every step. 

For now, though, they have not been officially charged and are free to pursue their cricket, though as seen in Sami’s case, it could be a tough one to handle. 

Author’s take

The fact that PCB has refused to throw any light on the ongoing investigation only muddles the entire scenario and is also doing the players no good.

It is hence imperative that the board comes out clean in the entire issue and does not leave the players shortchanged which would not only impede the ongoing investigation but would also leave a lot of room for speculation.

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