Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal was cleared by the Hyderabad police on Monday after the 25-year-old was alleged to have been involved in 'unethical activities' at a party in the city.
The hard-hitting batsman came under fire after he was allegedly involved in an incident that bought 'disrepute to Pakistan cricket' at an event which the police described as a 'dance party'.
Umar was included in Pakistan's T20 squad for the England series after receiving clearance by the police, chief selector Haroon Rasheed said.
“Now that he has been cleared after an inquiry into the Hyderabad incident, he has been included in the squad,” Rasheed said.
A press statement by the PCB released last Thursday stated that the 25-year-old had been dropped from Pakistan’s T20 squad for England series, pending an official inquiry.
“Umar Akmal was in contention for a place in the T20 squad, but he was not considered following the board issuing him a show-cause notice after the press reports revealed that he had brought the PCB and Pakistan cricket into disrepute,” the PCB statement said.
The batsman was axed from the squad on the instructions of the PCB chief Shaharyar Khan. “There should be an inquiry and Umar will be given an opportunity and after that we will take action,” the board supremo told reporters last Thursday.
Umar on Monday responded to the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) show-cause notice saying: “I attended a dinner party after being granted official permission by [SNGPL’s] team manager.”
The Pakistan T20 skipper Shahid Afridi on Sunday also called for the Umar Akmal case to be solved as soon as possible.
The all-rounder said that the PCB should look to solve matters as early as possible as Akmal was an important part of Afridi’s preparations for next year’s World T20 in India.
“The investigation regarding Umar Akmal should finish as soon as possible and the decision should be taken early as he is an important part of my plans for the T20 side, especially for the World T20 next year,” said the star cricketer.
Afridi's wish may have come true as the clearance by the Hyderabad police can lead to Umar's re-inclusion in the Pakistan T20 side which faces England in a three-match T20 series which kicks off in the UAE on November 26.