The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB’s) request for a hearing in Dubai, regarding the corruption case of batsman Umar Akmal.
According to sources, the PCB had requested to conduct the meeting in Dubai instead of Switzerland in order to reduce organizational costs and travel expenditures.
On the other hand, the PCB has also requested to hold the hearing through a video link. Although, a final decision is yet to be made on the matter but that request is likely to be rejected as well.
Sources further stated that Akmal’s legal team is not in favor of conducting a hearing through a video link. It must be noted that an online hearing requires the permission of both concerned parties.
Under CAS regulations for an online hearing, the permission of both parties is required. The PCB and Akmal have already responded to the notice of exchange. The CAS is expected to announce a date for the hearing in the coming weeks. Earlier this month, the CAS asked the PCB and Akmal to submit written arguments within 20 days.
The PCB had gone to the CAS with an appeal against the reduction of the three-year ban by its independent adjudicator. On the other hand, the tainted batman wants the ban to be revoked.
What is the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)?
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is an institution independent of any sports organization which provides for services in order to facilitate the settlement of sports-related disputes through arbitration or mediation by means of procedural rules adapted to the specific needs of the sports world.
Akmal was banned for three years in April by a one-man disciplinary panel of the PCB after two hearings, following which his appeal was heard by the independent adjudicator.
Former Supreme Court Judge Mr Justice (retd.) Faqir Muhammad Khokhar, in his capacity as independent adjudicator, had, in July, reduced Akmal’s three-year ban for failure to report two spot-fixing approaches to 18 months. Justice Khokar noted in his final finding that the stance taken by Akmal is self-contradictory.
After the verdict on the reduction, Akmal’s lawyer argued that the sanction be overturned due to lack of evidence against the player.
“We have a wide range of grievances on the decision by the arbitrator and we have reached out to the arbitration court in a motion to set aside the judgement,” Khawaja Umaiz, the lawyer representing Akmal, told ESPNcricinfo.
“They don’t have a single piece of evidence that can prove any wrongdoing. The prosecution was based on a phone call, otherwise there is no document, no bank transaction or anything that can substantiate their claim.”
Akmal had been banned for three years in April by a one-man disciplinary panel of the PCB after two hearings, following which his appeal was heard by the independent adjudicator.