Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najmal Sethi has made a starking claim and said that Umar Akmal – who was banned for three years earlier this week for a match-fixing matter – suffers from epilepsy and requires treatment.
The 29-year-old Umar was banned by the Disciplinary Panel of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday from all forms of cricket for three years for failing to report spot-fixing offers.
Sethi, who was Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman and Head of Executive Committee between 2013 and 2018, said when he took over the reins of the cricket body, the first problem he faced concerned Umar.
“We had medical reports that confirmed he suffered from epilepsy fits and we called him back from the West Indies. When I met him I told him it was a serious problem and he needed to take a break and get proper treatment. But he was not willing to accept this. He was mentally not there,” Sethi told a TV Channel as quoted by PTI.
“Anyway I stopped him from playing for two months but later on we sent the medical reports to the selectors and left it to them because I didn’t like to interfere in their work.” Epilepsy is a central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behaviour, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness,” he added.
Sethi further claimed that Umar always put his personal values above the team and that was what made him a relatively unsuccessful cricketer despite being supremely talented.
“…but he refuses to accept discipline and he is an individualistic player prone to play with instinct. He plays for himself, not for his team. He is outside all discipline.” The former official also feels the three-year ban imposed on Umar would eventually end his career.
“I am afraid his career is threatened and it appears to me to be the end of the line for him. Umar has always been someone outside all discipline and this three-year ban was going to happen,” he said.
With PTI inputs