International Cricket Council (ICC) has allowed Pakistani fast bowler Muhammad Amir to play domestic cricket with immediate effect relaxing his ban for spot-fixing.
A spokesman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday said that the decision has been taken at an ICC meeting in Dubai. The ICC had imposed a five year ban on Muhammad Amir on his involvement in the spot fixing and has decided to remove the ban before time to allow the player to participate in domestic cricket.
The ICC’s ACSU Chairman, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, with the prior approval of the ICC Board and the Pakistan Cricket Board, has exercised his discretion to allow Mohammad Amir to return to domestic cricket played under the auspices of the Pakistan Cricket Board with immediate effect.
Amir’s five-year ban is scheduled to expire on September 2, 2015. The ACSU Chairman had exercised the powers vested in him under Article 6.8 of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code after he was satisfied that Amir had cooperated with the ACSU.
Amir fully disclosed his part in the matters that led to his disqualification, admitting his guilt, showing remorse and cooperating with the Unit’s ongoing investigations and by recording messages for the ACSU education sessions.
Update from AFP
Amir was one of three Pakistani players handed bans of at least five years for arranging no-balls to order in a Test against England at Lord’s in 2010.
The 22-year-old’s ban was due to expire on September 2, but the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) used discretionary powers to allow him to return to Pakistani domestic games early.
“The ACSU Chairman, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, with the prior approval of the ICC Board and the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board), has exercised his discretion to allow Aamer to return to domestic cricket played under the auspices of the PCB with immediate effect,” the ICC said in a statement.
The three players and their agent Mazhar Majeed were jailed by a UK court after the now-defunct tabloid News of the World exposed them in a sting operation.
At the time of the incident Aamer was regarded as one of the hottest young bowling prospects in world cricket and there was some sympathy for him, given his young age — he was 18 at the time.
“The ACSU chairman was satisfied that Aamer had cooperated with the ACSU by fully disclosing his part in the matters that led to his disqualification, admitting his guilt, showing remorse and cooperating with the Unit’s ongoing investigations and by recording messages for the ACSU education sessions,” the ICC statement said.
In 2013 the PCB asked the ICC to relax certain conditions of Aamer’s ban. That prompted the ICC to form a committee which recommended a change in the players’ code of conduct.
In November last year the ICC Board approved a provision which allows all banned players to return to domestic cricket a few months before their ban expires.
PCB lawyer Tafazzul Rizvi said Aamer will be monitored during his return to domestic matches.
“The ICC code was followed in the process and now PCB will monitor Aamer’s behaviour in the next few months and only after that will he be eligible to return to international cricket,” Rizvi told AFP.
Former captain Ramiz Raja and former PCB head Tauqir Zia recently voiced their opposition to Aamer’s return to international cricket.
“Don’t get me wrong — I am all for rehabilitation and for finding ways to set a young man back on course in his life. But it just can’t be in the very game that he sullied and brought disrepute to,” Raja said in December last year.
PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan had also revealed that some current Pakistan players had indicated they would not be comfortable sharing a dressing room with Aamer.