Umar Akmal received a three-year ban for not reporting after being approached by bookies; J Arunkumar has been appointed USA Head Coach; Scotland offered to host their matches against Australia and New Zealand behind in empty stadia; and TCA Indians registered their second win in the Taipei T10 League.
Three-year ban for Umar Akmal
PCB handed Umar Akmal a three-year ban following his failure to report after being approached by bookies for match-fixing. This came across as particularly harsh: Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Nawaz had had got away with six-month and two-month bans for violating the same norms of PCB’s anti-corruption code.
Former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja minced no word as he took to Twitter to lambast Akmal: “So Umar Akmal officially makes it to the list of idiots! Banned for 3 years. What a waste of a talent! It’s high time that Pakistan moved towards passing a legislative law against match fixing. Behind bars is where such jack asses belong! Otherwise brave for more!!”
USA appoint “Jak” Head Coach
J Arunkumar has been appointed Head Coach of the USA national cricket team. Arunkumar has been a successful coach in the Indian domestic circuit, gaining respect after he tutored his former team Karnataka to the treble (Ranji Trophy, Irani Cup, and Vijay Hazare Trophy) in 2013-14 and 2014-15. He was working as coach of Puducherry in 2019-20 before he quit midway through the season.
Arunkumar will be moving to the USA once things return to normal. “I have got in touch with all the players, including the probables. Fitness training programme is going on,” he confirmed in an interview with Sportstar.
Scotland willing to host both Australia, New Zealand
Scotland were supposed to host New Zealand for an ODI and a T20I, and Australia for a T20I, all at the Grange, Edinburgh in June. All three matches seem unlikely at this point, in which case Cricket Scotland may lose revenue up to £250,000. As a solution, Cricket Scotland has offered to host all three matches behind closed doors.
“We do make money staging internationals, but if we had to play an international game behind closed doors it would definitely be feasible – the cost of temporary stands would be taken out of the equation,” Cricket Scotland Gus Mackay told ESPNCricinfo.
Daredevils, United, Indians win
Taiwan Daredevils, PCCT United, and TCA Indians won in Sunday’s triple-header in the Taipei T10, on April 26. In the first match, the Daredevils restricted the Indians to 71/8 before winning with 8 balls to spare. ICCT Smashers put up 70/4 in the second match, but the United coasted home with 2 balls in hand. These were the first two matches in Group B.
Later in the day, the Indians became the first team to win two matches in the tournament (they had earlier beaten the Hsinchu Titans). They scored 74/3, then kept the Taiwan Dragons to 60/9.