Umar Akmal flies to United States for 'personal meetings' and better opportunities

Umar Akmal flies to United States for ‘personal meetings’ and better opportunities

Akmal last played international cricket in 2019.

Umar Akmal. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Umar Akmal has left for the United States in search of a better future and more opportunities. Having fallen out of Pakistan selectors’ radar, Akmal has stayed out of international action since 2019.

Taking to Twitter, Akmal, on Friday, provided the update of him travelling to the US. “I am travelling to US [United States] for some personal meetings, if all goes well I might have to stay there for some time! I need my supporters to pray for me like they have always prayed!” his tweet read.

A report on Cricket Pakistan suggests that “Akmal will play matches during the time he spends in the US” and that he is “keen on securing a long-term contract in the US, similar to opener Sami Aslam.”

Inactive in the international circuit, Akmal has been seen in action in domestic leagues and tournaments, as he was a part of the recently-concluded Pakistan Cricket Associations T20, where he tallied just 66 in five innings.

Akmal was out of the Pakistan Test team’s reckoning only a couple of years after his debut, with his last Test being against Zimbabwe in 2011, while he last played an ODI and T20I in March and October 2019 respectively. In 16 Tests, 121 ODIs and 84 T20Is matches, scoring 1,003, 3,194 and 1,690 runs in respectively.

He was handed a three-year ban after he was found guilty of breaching PCB Anti-Corruption Code in two independent incidents. Although, the sentence was reduced to 18 months after Akmal successfully appealed against the decision. Later, the period was further reduced to 12 months by The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) along with a PKR 4.25 million fine slapped on the 31-year-old.

Apologizing for his mistake, he said in a video released by PCB that he “learned a lot” during his ban, while he sought forgiveness from all the fans.

“Seventeen months ago, I made a mistake which caused damage to my cricket and career. I learnt a lot during this time and due to that mistake, Pakistan cricket’s reputation suffered badly. I ask for forgiveness from the PCB and from cricket fans around the world,” he said in a video released by the PCB.