Cricketer Umar Akmal’s dancing skills off the pitch have landed him in trouble as the maverick middle-order batsman was fined 20 percent of his match fee for a night out in Dubai.
The 28-year-old talented yet undisciplined player was in the United Arab Emirates for a five-match series against Australia, which Pakistan lost 5-0 in Dubai on Sunday. It was his first international fixture since January 2017.
But a video clip circulating on social media showed Umar attending a concert and dancing on Friday night in Dubai.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement late Monday that Umar had apologized after team manager Talat Ali charged him with breaching the team’s curfew and going to a club, a violation of the rules for tours. “I am glad that Umar has realized his mistake, and has accepted and apologized for his actions, which were clearly unprofessional and in no way can be ignored or overlooked,” PCB managing director Wasim Khan said. “The PCB expects a high level of professionalism and commitment from its players, and this action is a reiteration and timely reminder that any indiscipline shall not be tolerated or accepted.”
Umar managed just 150 runs in the five matches—a disappointing show that could have a negative impact on his potential selection for the 2019 World Cup, to be held in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14.
The player has had a history of disciplinary problems since making his international debut in 2009. He was infamously arrested for a day in 2014 after attacking a traffic warden. In 2015, he was dropped from the Pakistan team after local media reported another raucous night of dancing.
Waqar Younis, Pakistan’s previous head coach, also suggested the PCB keep Umar away from the team over disciplinary problems following the World Twenty20 in India in 2016. He has also clashed repeatedly with current head coach Mickey Arthur.
In 2017 Arthur sent him home days before the start of the Champions Trophy after he failed a fitness test. Later that year he received a three-month ban after a spat with Arthur in the national cricket academy in Lahore.
Umar is also under investigation by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for claiming in a television interview that he was offered money to underperform during the 2015 World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand. The ICC said Umar has not been charged, so he was free to play in international competition.