Umar Akmal reacts after he misses to hit a boundary during the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup semifinal match against Sri Lanka in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday. AP
Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal has been fined 50 per cent of his match fee for breach of the ICC Code of Conduct during his side’s 16-run defeat against Sri Lanka in the first semi-final of the World Twenty20 here.
Umar was found to have breached Article 2.2.11 of the code, a level 2 offence, which relates to “conduct contrary to the spirit of the game”.
Umar pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the proposed sanction and thus there was no need for a formal hearing.
The incident took place in the 17th over of Pakistan’s innings when Umar, who was the non-striker, ignored both on-field umpires’ request and went ahead to change his batting gloves in the semi-final match last night.
Jeff Crowe of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, while explaining his decision, said, “Respect for the umpires is integral and is something which we always emphasise and encourage.
“In this incident, Umar showed blatant disregard to both the umpires’ requests, which was offensive and unacceptable from an international cricketer and contrary to our unique spirit, hence a level two charge was laid. Umar, when pleading guilty, apologised and regretted his action,” an ICC statement said.
The charge was laid by on-field umpires Simon Taufel and Rod Tucker, third umpire Ian Gould as well as fourth official Steve Davis, all from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires.
"They could have got to 140 on this pitch but the management needed to take some bold decisions which they didn't take. In contrast Sri Lanka used their batsmen very well and rotated them well."
Former Test batsman Basit Ali had no doubt that Shahid Afridi now needed to retire and focus on playing foreign T20 leagues.
"I think he should retire now because he was a big disappointment in the tournament. Hafeez also made a blunder by insisting on opening the innings throughout the tournament. He spoiled the momentum of the team."
Pakistan's former Test player and coach Mohsin Khan said it was disappointing that Pakistan lost a match it should have won after restricting Sri Lanka to 140 runs.
"I felt there was lack of understanding between the captain and management and players and if it is true that Hafeez unilaterally insisted on playing Sohail Tanvir today than he should be questioned and so should the management," he said.