Umar Akmal has been suspended from all cricket-related activities by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) under its anti-corruption code.

The PCB on Thursday revealed that Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Akmal has been suspended under article 4.7.1 of its code, but did not state the nature of the alleged offence.

Akmal's ban was imposed on the day he was due to play for defending champions Quetta Gladiators in the first game of the Pakistan Super League against Islamabad United.

The 29-year-old has been replaced in the Gladiators squad by Anwar Ali, with an investigation ongoing. 

Akmal was this month reprimanded by the PCB after allegedly exposing himself while undergoing a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy.

That incident, which is reported to have seen Akmal ask a trainer "where is the fat?" during a skin-fold test, was described by the PCB as a "misunderstanding".

Akmal has played 121 ODIs and 84 Twenty20 Internationals, also featuring in 16 Tests between 2009 and 2011.

Steve Smith plans to "play along and have fun" with South Africa fans who dish out hostility over an ill-fated 2018 tour that cost him the Australia captaincy.

Smith and David Warner were suspended for a year and Cameron Bancroft received a nine-month ban for their part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal during the third Test against the Proteas almost two years ago.

Both Smith and Warner are back in South Africa for Twenty20 International and ODI series', starting with a contest in the shortest format at the Wanderers on Friday.

Former skipper Smith had to contend with plenty of jibes in England last year after serving his ban and is expecting more of the same over the coming weeks.

"They are hostile at the best of times here," Smith told reporters on Wednesday. "It doesn't bother me too much.

"Like [coach] Justin Langer said we had the dress rehearsal in England where there was a fair bit going on but I honestly don't notice it, particularly when I am batting. I don't really hear anything that's going on and I block it all out.

"Maybe a little bit when I am fielding. But then again it's just words, it doesn't affect me. I think I will be doing some outfielding so I'm looking forward to it. I will smile and laugh and play along and have fun."

Prolific batsman Smith may be braced for verbals while on the field, but revealed he has received a warm welcome off it.

He added: "It's nice to be back playing in South Africa. The last time I was here things didn't end overly well, but I've also got really fond memories of playing here.

"Just walking into the hotel in Sandton, initially I was like, ‘the last time I left here it wasn't pretty’. It wasn't the best time in my life. But I've moved on from that and learned a lot.

"I've been back playing for a year now. I’m really enjoying it and I feel like I’m playing well. I'm in a nice place.

"Everywhere I have been the people have been lovely. Guys have come up and taken some photos and been really nice.

"It's been normal, the same as compared to when I've been here previously. It's a terrific place to tour and I'm glad to be back."

Temba Bavuma will miss South Africa's opening Twenty20 international against Australia on Friday due to a hamstring strain.

The 29-year-old batsman suffered the injury when fielding in the high-scoring T20 defeat to England on Sunday and will sit out the upcoming Wanderers clash.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) said Bavuma could return for Sunday's second game in their three-match series against Australia and there would be no replacement called into the 16-player squad.

"The recommended recovery time for the injury is seven to 10 days," said CSA. "He will remain with the team and receive treatment from the medical staff."

Bavuma blasted a rapid 49 off just 24 balls at the top of the order in a five-wicket loss at SuperSport Park as England sealed a 2-1 series win.

West Indies paceman Oshane Thomas has avoided serious injury in a car accident.

Thomas was taken to hospital after he was involved in a crash in Jamaica on Sunday.

The quick's agent, Mark Neita, told the Jamaica Observer that Thomas is "at home resting" after being taken to hospital.

Thomas, who turned 23 on Tuesday, has played 20 ODIs and 10 Twenty20 Internationals for the Windies.

The West Indies Players' Association released a statement saying: "The West Indies Players’ Association [WIPA] extends best wishes to West Indies and Jamaica fast bowler Oshane Thomas who was involved in a motor vehicle accident on Sunday, February 16 in Jamaica.

"Thomas was reportedly involved in a two-vehicle collision on Highway 2000 near Old Harbour in St. Catherine and was taken to hospital.

"WIPA's executive and staff would like to extend our sympathies to Oshane. We wish for him a speedy and full recovery."

Eoin Morgan said there was "no limit" to England's batting potential after their second-highest Twenty20 run chase secured a thrilling 2-1 series win over South Africa.

The Proteas capitalised on dream batting conditions to post a mammoth 222-6 in the decider at SuperSport Park on Sunday, Heinrich Klaasen top-scoring with 66 from only 33 balls.

That was not enough to prevent the tourists from winning a run-fest by five wickets with five balls to spare, captain Morgan matching his own record for the fastest T20 half-century by an England batsman.

Morgan bludgeoned 57 not out from only 22 balls - striking seven sixes - after Jos Buttler (57 from 29) and Jonny Bairstow (64 off 34) also flexed their muscles in Centurion.

Skipper Morgan believes England sent out a message to their rivals with the T20 World Cup in Australia on the horizon.

"It creates belief that you can chase down anything and it reinforces what our method is in chasing big totals down," said the England captain, named man of the match and series.

"It's a reference point to what we can do, there’s no limit on restricting yourself to certain things. You want to leave everything out there with the bat.

"It won’t always work but it will give us the best chance of winning.

"Moving forward from this series, our learning will continue to get better, hopefully, because I don't think we’ve played at our best in this series."

Morgan also gave his backing to Buttler, although he did not believe the wicketkeeper-batsman was at his devastating best at the top of the order.

"I'm delighted for Jos," Morgan told Sky Sports. "I think he has as much talent as somebody like AB de Villiers; it took De Villiers a long time, and a lot of games, to get going in a South African shirt.

"We need to back guys that have that sort of talent; Jos has been around a long time now and we know that when he delivers, we win games of cricket. It's great to see him back in the runs.

"I think the priority at the moment is to get the top three facing as many balls as they can - they are the most destructive players that we have.

"If that changes between now and the World Cup, and we feel the need to fill a gap somewhere, then we might change it but, for the moment, it's an extremely destructive batting line-up to play against."

Eoin Morgan matched his own record for the fastest half-century by an England batsman in a Twenty20 international as the tourists clinched a 2-1 series victory over South Africa after a SuperSport Park thriller.

Heinrich Klaasen blasted 66 from only 33 balls after Temba Bavuma (49 off 24) and Quinton de Kock (35 from 24) laid the platform for the Proteas, who posted an intimidating 222-6 at Centurion on Sunday.

England embraced the challenge of pulling off their second-highest successful run chase in the shortest format to turn the series around, Morgan making an astonishing 57 off 22 deliveries as they got home with five balls and five wickets to spare.

Captain Morgan struck seven sixes, equalling the England record of a 21-ball fifty that he set against New Zealand last year, after explosive knocks from Jos Buttler (57 from 29) and Jonny Bairstow (64 off 34).

There were 28 sixes in a contest which proved to be a batsman's paradise at altitude, with England ending a successful tour on a high note after also coming from behind to secure a 3-1 Test triumph and draw the ODI series.

De Kock capitalised on winning the toss by delivering a brutal onslaught along with Bavuma, the openers needing only 22 balls to get 50 on the board.

The captain disdainfully hammered Chris Jordan for three consecutive sixes, with Mark Wood also given the treatment before De Kock struck Ben Stokes (2-35) to Bairstow in the deep.

Bavuma drilled Adil Rashid's first ball over the rope, but the spinner got a measure of revenge when he bowled him one short of a half-century and Stokes struck again to see the back of Rassie van der Dussen.

Klaasen, in for JJ Smuts, then took centre stage, racing to a half-century in 25 balls, with 23 runs coming off an over from a struggling Wood.

David Miller made only nine in a fourth-wicket stand of 66 with Klaasen, whose scintillating knock was ended by Tom Curran (2-33), but his unbeaten 35 got South Africa up to their fifth-best T20 total.

In England's response, a fine catch from Tabraiz Shamsi sent Jason Roy on his way in Lungi Ngidi's second over before Buttler set about the returning Dale Steyn and took only 23 deliveries to reach his half-century.

Bairstow also looked ominous, dispatching Shamsi and Bjorn Fortuin into the crowd as the 100 mark came up inside nine overs, but Buttler gave it away when he was caught ramping Dwaine Pretorius.

The clean-striking Bairstow was bowled by Andile Phehlukwayo, having nailed three sixes, and England needed 78 from 38 when Dawid Malan - replacing the unwell Joe Denly - edged behind in a superb over from Shamsi.

Morgan middled Pretorius over the fence twice in the next over to silence the crowd and did the same to Ngidi after ending Steyn's spell with a six.

Stokes launched Phehlukwayo for back-to-back sixes before an incredible stand of 61 off 4.3 overs was ended when he holed out to Ngidi.

An imperious Morgan struck another two sixes in that same penultimate over from Ngidi, and Moeen Ali struck the winning runs after both he and the skipper offered chances to Pretorius.

Tom Curran held his nerve at the death as England levelled the Twenty20 series against South Africa in dramatic fashion at Kingsmead.

A high-scoring contest went down to the wire as the Proteas, chasing 205 to move into an unassailable 2-0 lead, needed three from the last ball - the same task England had failed to achieve in the opening game.

Once again, the bowling side managed to escape with the victory, Bjorn Fortuin only able to paddle a slower delivery from Curran to the hands of the back-pedalling Adil Rashid at short fine leg.

Having started the final over needing 15, Dwaine Pretorius followed up a six with a cover-driven four to reduce the equation to five off three.

A scampered two tipped the balance even further in favour of South Africa, yet Curran dismissed Pretorius lbw before deceiving new man Fortuin with a clever change of pace.

The finish was in keeping with an eventful game that ebbed and flowed throughout. England were indebted to a fast start and a devastating finish as they made 204-7, only for Quinton de Kock to produce a one-man onslaught during the powerplay.

South Africa's limited-overs captain had smashed eight sixes to make 65 from just 22 balls, the last of which saw him swing a high full toss from Mark Wood out to Ben Stokes on the deep midwicket boundary.

Temba Bavuma (31), David Miller (21) and Pretorius (25) made contributions and Rassie van der Dussen finished up unbeaten on 43, but the Proteas came up narrowly short.

England, meanwhile, live to fight another day, with the result setting up a winner-takes-all showdown at SuperSport Park on Sunday.

They had posted their sixth highest T20 total after being put into bat, despite losing the dangerous Jos Buttler for just two. Jason Roy followed up his knock of 70 on Wednesday with 40 at the top of the order, while Jonny Bairstow belted 35 from just 17 deliveries.

Yet it was Moeen Ali who played the crucial hand. Having arrived at the crease with the innings wobbling slightly at 125-5, he was the catalyst for a late blitz of boundaries that yielded 79 runs from the final five overs.

The all-rounder hit four sixes, including one extraordinary sliced drive over point from a Lungi Ngidi full toss, in an 11-ball knock of 39, while Stokes made his highest T20 score at international level as he finished on 47 not out.

South Africa have cancelled plans to tour Pakistan next month.

Three Twenty20 internationals were proposed but have been scratched because of South Africa's concerns over their players' workload.

The short series is set to be rescheduled and may take place before the end of the year.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it had received assurances from Cricket South Africa that "they will honour the commitment of sending their side as soon as it is reasonably possible".

South Africa are already due to visit Pakistan for two Tests and three T20 matches in January and February next year.

PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said: "While we were keenly looking forward to hosting South Africa next month, we respect Cricket South Africa's reason for not sending their side next month.

"Managing player workload is a top priority for any cricket board, and from that perspective, their decision is understandable.

"We are pleased that the CSA remains committed to rescheduling this short series as soon as practically possible.

"As there is a strong willingness and commitment, both the boards are now exploring their FTPs [future tour programmes] to find gaps so that we can agree on the dates."

Glenn Maxwell described himself as "shattered" after being told he requires elbow surgery, ruling him out of Australia's tour of South Africa.

The all-rounder will undergo an operation on his left arm on Thursday, with his spot in the ODI and T20 squads taken by D'Arcy Short.

Maxwell had been recalled by his country for the first time since taking a break from cricket in October to concentrate on his mental health, but he now faces up to eight weeks on the sidelines.

After the news was confirmed by Cricket Australia, Maxwell wrote on Twitter: "Shattered to be missing the South Africa tour. I wish all the lads the best of luck over there and I'll be watching from home!

"Thanks for all the wishes of support."

The Wallabies face three T20s and three ODIs against the Proteas, with Maxwell's absence coming after an injury he carried in the closing weeks of the Big Bash League season.

The 31-year-old helped Melbourne Stars to the final of that competition, where they lost to Sydney Sixers.

National selector Trevor Hohns lamented the loss of Maxwell but is confident Western Australia's Short can fill the void.

"We are disappointed to lose Glenn this close to the tour as we were looking forward to welcoming him back to the national side in both the 20- and 50-over formats after his break during the summer," Hohns said.

"Unfortunately, the pain he has experienced in the elbow in the latter stages of the BBL increased over the weekend and he will have surgery immediately to rectify the situation.

"An opportunity has now presented itself for D'Arcy and we're confident he'll make the most of whatever opportunities come his way in South Africa."

Sohail Tanveer is confident he can force his way back into the Pakistan side and make a big impact at the T20 World Cup in Australia.

The left-arm paceman has not played for his country since April 2017, but remains as driven as ever to showcase his talents on the international stage.

Tanvir was the leading wicket-taker when Northern won the National T20 Cup late last year and is determined to catch Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq's eye with a fruitful Pakistan Super League campaign for Multan Sultans.

Mohammad Hafeez, 39, and Shoaib Malik, 38, have recently been recalled by Misbah and 35-year-old Tanvir believes his skill and experience can also be invaluable for Pakistan.

The quick told Omnisport: "I feel that if you don't have the inspiration to play for your country there is no point in playing cricket.

"I started playing when I was seven or eight years old with the dream of playing for my country, that gave me inspiration and I worked hard, made it and played for my country.

"I have always wanted to play well and show my worth. Unfortunately for around two and a half years or so, I didn't play for Pakistan but I'm still inspired to do that and the PSL is going to be key not only for me, but many players trying to play for Pakistan.

"The T20 team is not settled at the moment and the places are pretty much open, so I'm still fancying my chances."

Tanvir says the appointment of Misbah to replace Mickey Arthur has given him renewed hope of wearing the famous green shirt once again.

He added "The mindset is different, Mickey came with a different mindset and approach, he was just giving chances to youngsters.

"On his behalf fair enough, I won't argue about it but Misbah has a different mindset. We have seen more experienced players such as Shoaib Malik and Hafeez coming back into the team, that means age is not an issue and anybody can get a chance.

"That is how it should be, if someone is doing well. You want to win games for your country, it doesn't matter if you are 35 years old or 20 years old, the motivation is to win the game.

"If someone comes into the game with a lot of experience and still wins you games, that is a plus-plus for you instead of youngsters coming in with no experience.

"We all know the pressure of playing T20 cricket, things change very quickly and you have to make instant decisions. Having that experience gives you more confidence in yourself.

"I've not been playing international cricket, but I've been playing in high-quality leagues very close to the level of international cricket. I believe I can serve my country well again.

"The T20 World Cup is in sight this year and there is one next year as well, so I'm fancying my chances.

"I'm right on top of my game, fitness-wise and performance-wise I'm pretty much there, PSL is the key now.

"I had a conversation with Misbah and he was pretty much clear, as other key people have said, we will be looking at PSL, then check on fitness and performance."

Chris Silverwood says England may reduce Jofra Archer's workload when he returns to fitness after the paceman suffered a low-grade stress fracture of his right elbow.

Archer flew home from the tour of South Africa last week and has been ruled out of the Test series against Sri Lanka and the Indian Premier League, although Rajasthan Royals are still hoping he can play a part in the tournament.

England Test captain Joe Root denied the paceman has been overbowled early in his international career.

Head coach Silverwood has conceded that England may need to consider using Archer in shorter spells to give him the best opportunity to stay fit.

"Things like [bowling 40 overs in an innings] we have to look at," Silverwood said. "But sometimes, when needs must, you've got to do it.

"We managed Mark Wood through both the Test matches he's played here and he's bowled in short, sharp spells. Would we look to do that now with Jof? Yes, we probably would."

Archer bowled more overs than any of his England team-mates last year, but Silverwood would not take a different approach if he could go back in time.

"Not really. It's just a case of: his injury occurred, the first scan didn't show us where it was, the second has. We can now put a plan in place and get him going for our summer," the former England seamer said.

"Being a fast bowler is hard work. It is hard work. Ask Jimmy [Anderson], ask [Stuart] Broad, ask any of them. Being a fast bowler is hard work. It's just how it is."

He added: "We can't turn the clock back, all we can do is look to the future and say, 'Well, how are we going to do it from now on?'"

 

Dale Steyn has been included in South Africa's Twenty20 International squad to face England and Quinton de Kock will captain the side in the three-match series.

Steyn has not played for the Proteas since last March, but the paceman is set to return against Eoin Morgan's side.

De Kock was named as permanent ODI skipper ahead of the ongoing series with England and will also lead his country in the shortest format, as Faf du Plessis has been granted an extended period of rest.

Kagiso Rabada has also been given extra time off after being rested for the ODI series, which South Africa lead 1-0 with one match to play at the Wanderers on Sunday.

Uncapped batsman Pite van Biljon and seamer Sisanda Magala were included in the squad for a T20 series that gets under way with a day-night contest at Buffalo Park, East London next Wednesday.

Magala's participation is dependent on him passing a fitness test. 

Cricket South Africa acting director of cricket Graeme Smith said: "We are pleased with the group that we have selected for this upcoming T20 series against England.

"We have once again taken the opportunity to reward some of the hard workers of our domestic franchise system while some of our key senior players continue with their much-needed rest period and we have again, put our faith in Quinton to lead this group of exciting cricketers, picking up where he left off in India where he showed exemplary leadership."

He added: "With a T20 World Cup not too far away, we have begun the process of identifying several players whom we will be looking at over a period of time and hope that by the time September comes along, we will have the best possible squad of 15 representing South Africa."

 

South Africa squad: Quinton de Kock (captain), Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Pite van Biljon, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, JJ Smuts, Beuran Hendricks, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Sisanda Magala, Bjorn Fortuin, Dale Steyn, Heinrich Klaasen.

Rajasthan Royals remain hopeful that Jofra Archer can play in the Indian Premier League despite the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) revealing he would miss the tournament.

The ECB on Friday stated that paceman Archer has been ruled out of England's Test tour of Sri Lanka and the IPL due to a low-grade stress fracture of his right elbow.

Archer is due to commence a rehabilitation programme with the ECB medical team with a view to facing West Indies in a three-match Test series in June.

Yet the Royals, who signed the quick for 7.2 crore (£800,000) in the 2018 IPL auction, have not given up hope of Archer playing in a tournament that gets under way at the end of March and finishes on May 24.

Rajasthan head coach Andrew McDonald told ESPNcricinfo: "It is a blow but these things always confront teams. These are the setbacks that you have to contend with.

"First and foremost, our thoughts are with Jofra. Getting an elbow injury when you are at the top of your game is far from ideal, but watching him from afar it's been great to see what he's been able to achieve.

"We'll see what happens. The ECB have been reasonably solid on ruling him out of the IPL, but we still hold out some hope that he may recover.

"We'll get those details over the next 24-48 hours as to the extent of the injury, and we'll work with the ECB as to what that may or may not look like.

"I'm sure he's keen [to play in the IPL]. He loves playing for Rajasthan, but injuries happen, and until more details come to light, we will always hold out hope for a player of that quality.

"It doesn't look good at the moment, but we won't be in any rush to replace him at this moment in time."

Jofra Archer will miss England's Test tour of Sri Lanka after it was confirmed the paceman has sustained a low-grade stress fracture to his right elbow.

The lightning-quick seamer missed the final three matches of England's four-match Test series in South Africa and was already ruled out of the ODIs and Twenty20 fixtures against the Proteas.

Archer underwent further tests on his injury this week and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed he will not travel to Sri Lanka in March.

"Archer underwent further scans on his injured right elbow yesterday in the UK which confirmed a low-grade stress fracture," an ECB statement read.

"He will now commence an injury rehabilitation programme with the ECB medical team with a view to be ready for the international summer campaign starting in June against the West Indies in a three-match Test series."

The 24-year-old will also miss the 2020 Indian Premier League season with the Rajasthan Royals as a result of his injury.

England will hope to have Archer back for the three-match home Test series against the West Indies, which starts on June 4 at the Oval. 

Joe Root's men play two five-day matches in Sri Lanka, the first beginning on March 19.

Marcus Stoinis has been overlooked for Australia's limited-overs series in South Africa, while Glenn Maxwell was named in both the ODI and Twenty20 squads.

Stoinis was crowned the Big Bash League player of the tournament, but missed out on selection despite his 612 runs at an average of 55.63 for the Melbourne Stars during the 2019-20 campaign.

The 30-year-old will be on standby for both the ODI and T20 squads, who will each play three matches against South Africa in February and March.

"Marcus Stoinis is a standby player for each squad and was unlucky to miss out due to the makeup of the current top order," Australia national selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement on Tuesday.

"It is terrific to have a backup player of his calibre in such good form.

"Of course there are other unlucky omissions which is always the case when selecting these squads."

Maxwell returns after his exclusion from the ODI squad for last month's matches against India, who won the series 2-1.

Mitchell Marsh, Jhye Richardson and Sean Abbott have also returned, the latter duo only part of the T20 squad.

"These are two very well-balanced squads with a focus on the specific skills each individual offers in their respective roles. The squads include returning players Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Marsh, Jhye Richardson and Sean Abbott," Hohns said.

"It is fantastic to have Glenn back in both squads given his brilliant form in the middle order for the Stars along with his results with the ball. Glenn was one of the first picked in the most recent T20 team at the start of the summer, prior to his break from the game.

"The same can be said for Mitch. He has been in tremendous touch with the bat for the Scorchers since his return from injury and is now back bowling well. His performances warranted inclusion in the area he operates as a powerful middle-order batsman and handy bowler.

"Jhye Richardson also returns to the T20 side from injury with his performances demanding inclusion. He is a terrific young player who has been sensational in all forms of the game; and is an extremely strong fieldsman.

"Matthew Wade is also in red hot form with the bat. He is a very strong fielder; and a great person to have in any team. He can also substitute as wicketkeeper if required."

The T20 series begins in Johannesburg on February 21 before the ODIs start eight days later.

Australia T20 squad: Aaron Finch, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

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