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PCB serves Umar Akmal notice over spot-fixing claims

Umar Akmal pads up AFP

The PCB wants Umar Akmal to explain the comments he made to a TV channel on Sunday about being offered money during the 2015 World Cup to "leave two balls alone". Hours after Akmal told Samaa TV about the alleged approach made to him during the World Cup, as well as other supposed offers to miss games against India, the PCB served him a notice, asking him to meet the board's anti-corruption unit on June 27 in Lahore to explain his comments.

"I had got an offer during the World Cup to leave two balls alone and they were willing to pay me $200,000 for that," Akmal said in the TV interview. "It was our first match against India in the 2015 World Cup... in fact, every match I play against India, they offer me money to make some excuse and opt out of the game. But I have told those people that I am very sincere about playing for Pakistan and to not talk to me on this topic ever again."

It is unclear whether Akmal had previously reported these alleged approaches to the anti-corruption authorities, and therein could lie a problem for him. While there is no evidence to suggest Akmal has been involved in any corrupt activity, failure to report an approach is also a punishable offence under PCB and ICC rules. Akmal, ESPNcricinfo understands, had officially reported corrupt approaches in 2014 during the England series in the UAE.

The ICC, in an official statement, said it had launched an investigation and that it wished to speak to Akmal "urgently".

"The ICC is aware of a recent interview given by Umar Akmal. Whilst we note that there is no suggestion that any 'fix' actually took place, the ICC is reliant on players to report any corrupt approaches in a timely manner. This is critical to our efforts to gather information on potential 'fixers' and to disrupt and prevent their efforts to corrupt the game. As such we are taking Akmal's comments very seriously.

"We have launched an investigation and wish to speak to Mr Akmal as a matter of urgency. Our Anti-Corruption Unit is committed to working to uphold integrity in cricket and would urge anyone with any information to contact us via contactacu@icc-cricket.com."

Akmal has been embroiled in a number of controversies of late. In May last year, in the lead-up to the Champions Trophy, Akmal had to return home after failing two fitness tests in two days. In September, he picked up a three-match ban and a fine of Pakistani rupees 1 million for his public outburst against coach Mickey Arthur. Then, in March this year, his future with Pakistan Super League franchise Lahore Qalandars came into question after he was left out of the squad following a poor run of form; it was understood that he was not even travelling to the stadium with his team-mates at that point.

June 25, GMT 0244 The story was updated to include the ICC's comment.