Umar Akmal banned from first New Zealand T20I
The Pakistan cricket team departed for New Zealand on Saturday where they are supposed to play three Twenty20 matches. But Umar Akmal has been banned from the first of the three matches. This comes as a punishment for the violation of dress code in a domestic match earlier this week.
Umar Akmal had sported two logos on his kit instead of the one which was allowed. This happened while the batsman, now 23 years of age was playing for Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited. This has been considered as a level one offence on the part of the Pakistani cricketer.
Umar was warned about this by the PCB referee Anwar Khan but to no avail. Umar did not remove the extra logo which resulted in the referee imposing the ban on the talented batsman.
News of his first match ban came from team manager Intikhab Alam. He informed that the batsman will miss out on the first match which is to be played on the 15th of January. Alam said "Pakistan Cricket Board has informed us that Umar has been banned on violating dress code during the final of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy and will not be playing Friday's Twenty20 in Auckland.”
He had received warnings earlier in the tournament. One such warning came when he misbehaved with the team coach Basit Ali in the final of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy. Basit had taken a tactical decision to play Umar a little lower in the batting order. This infuriated Umar and he abused the team coach. Umar had also found himself amidst trouble when he was alleged found in a dance party in Hyderabad. But he was later cleared of all charges by the police.
Disciplinary issues have followed Umar during his career so far. Intikhab Alam also informed, "As per the PCB rules the ban applies to the next first game, whether it's a national level game or international one, so Umar will not be played in the first match.”
Umar has only been selected for the Twenty20 and he will fly back after the third match which is to take place on the 22nd of January. Pakistan will continue to play a three match one-day series with New Zealand after that.
Akmal was not selected for the Twenty20 side to go to England last year in November after reports of misbehaving with women in a dance party but fortunately for him, his name was cleared by the police. Waqar Younis’s report saw Umar being dropped from the one day side after the 2015 World Cup.