Umar Akmal has signed for California Zalmi to play in the US-based cricket league called Northern California Cricket Association.
The 31-year left for the US on 1 October. He took to Twitter to reveal that he was traveling to the US for some personal reasons, requesting prayers from his fans.
In February last year, the PCB slapped a 3-year ban on Umar Akmal after he was found guilty of breaching the anti-corruption code. The ban was first reduced to 18 months by the PCB and later to 12 months by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).
Although his ban was cut by half after two different appeals, he was made to pay a fine of Rs. 4.25 million and complete a rehabilitation program before returning to the pitch.
Following the completion of the rehabilitation program, Umar was reintegrated into the domestic circuit. However, he wasn’t picked by any of the first XI teams playing the ongoing National T20 Cup.
Instead, Umar was asked to play for a second XI team in the Cricket Associations T20 Tournament. He scored 0, 14, 7, 16, and 29 for Central Punjab Second XI before leaving for the US to play for California Zalmi.
It remains to be seen whether Umar will miss the entire season, with the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy set to start from 20 October and the One-Day Cup from 25 February.
Umar has represented Pakistan in 16 Tests, 121 ODIs, and 84 T20Is since his debut in 2009. He is one of Pakistan’s leading run-scorers in T20Is, having scored 1,690 runs at an average of 26.00 and a strike rate of 122.73.