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DUBAI: Pakistan cricket chief Zaka Ashraf on Friday backed the return of spot-fixing convict Mohammad Amir after he serves his five-year ban, saying he was a talented fast bowler who had been “trapped”.

“I want to see Amir back but only after considering the legality of the case and only after he serves the ban,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf told reporters here.

Amir, 19, was released from a British prison on Wednesday after serving half of his six-month sentence for his part in the scandal during the Lord’s Test between Pakistan and England in August 2010.

His team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif are still in jail serving 30-month and 12-month sentences respectively handed down by a British court in November last year.

All three were found guilty of corruption and receiving illegal money.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) also banned the trio for violating the players’ code of conduct, with Amir receiving the minimum five-year punishment.

Zaka, who took over in October last year, said the PCB will rehabilitate the youngster.

“Definitely we will rehabilitate Amir through an education programme; he is a young Pakistani, he committed a mistake and it was a case of huge talent lost and once he serves the ban then he could come into the team,” added Zaka.

Zaka claimed Amir and the other two players had been “trapped”.

“Whatever has happened we are sad about that, not only me but also most of the Pakistani people are sad for this young boy who, with the other players, were trapped by the Majeed brothers,” said Zaka of players’ agent Mazhar Majeed and his brother Azhar.

Meanwhile, PCB legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi said Amir’s rehabilitation programme would begin soon.

“Under the ICC anti-corruption code a convicted player undergoes an official education session to the reasonable satisfaction of ACSU programme during his period of ineligibility, in Amir’s case it is five years,” Tafazzul stated.

“Furthermore Amir has to agree to such additional reasonable and proportionate monitoring procedures and requirements as the ACSU may reasonably consider necessary.

“The PCB and ICC are on the same page in this matter and are already in contact over the official anti-corruption education session,” the PCB official added.—AFP

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Comments (3)

Dr. Salaria, Aamir A
February 5, 2012 3:27 am
As much as I have deep sympathy with this young teen-ager, his test case to re-enter the world of top level competitive cricket while donning the colors of his country under the auspices of ICC should be handed with care and caution. The best bet in his case will be to let some more time pass in order to calm down the current environment and circumstances. In the meantime, PCB should file an application with ICC to get clearance for this budding fast bowler after undergoing at least six to eight months long comprehensive rehabilitation and counseling program for him under the watchful eyes and expertise of top industry experts and professionals. Maybe, once everything is done amicably and the right way and the experts are sure about a tangible and concrete progress in Mohammad Amir's mental, psychological, physical and spiritual development towards the better, he might then be allowed to represent his country of birth and brought-up in the international arena of cricket.
Saifur Rahman
February 5, 2012 3:44 am
What is the hurry on deciding what to do with Amir. Doesn't Pakistan have enough talent to draw upon? He may be young but was a regular trouble maker and arrogant in the dressing room. First he needs to be coached on how to behave and speak in public and then let him prove himself. He should not be allowed to play for Pakistan at least for the next five years. He was punished by England and not by Pakistan. He is yet to be punished by Pakistan and he certainly deserves it.
Pakman
February 5, 2012 10:56 am
I feel for Amir, hopefully he is repentant. I do not believe anyone who has cheated; been to prison; betrayed the country ought to be allowed back. We as a nation should have scruples and values that go beyond individuals.
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