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Cricket
Disgraced Amir returns to Pakistan
Pakistan cricketer back home after serving jail sentence for his part in a spot-fixing scandal.
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2012 12:03
Amir was a much heralded rising new talent before the spot-fixing scandal and the Pakistan Cricket Board has yet to decide on his cricketing future after he has served his ban [GETTY]

Pakistan's banned cricketer Mohammad Amir returned home on Sunday after serving his jail sentence for spot-fixing in London.

Amir was sentenced for six months, but was released earlier this month due to good behaviour after serving half his sentence, for spot-fixing with two teammates - Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif - during a Test against England at Lords in August 2010.

Butt and Asif are still serving their jail sentences.

Amir did not speak to the waiting media on arriving at Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport.

Local television showed the 19-year-old leftarm fast bowler - sitting on the back seat of a white car with his lawyer - being driven away to his house in Lahore.

"He has arrived with his lawyer Sajida Malik,'' Amir's mentor Asif Bajwa told the newsagency Associated Press.

Fall from grace

Amir is banned by the International Cricket Council until September 2015 for bowling deliberate no-balls.

Amir pleaded guilty and did not contest his case in London's Southwark Crown Court last year and was given less punishment than Butt and Asif.

Butt, the then Pakistan captain, was jailed for 2 1/2 years and Asif for 1 1/2 years after being convicted for receiving money to ensure no-balls were bowled in the Lord's test 18 months ago.

The leftarm paceman could appeal in the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the ICC ban.

"Hopefully the ICC ban will be reduced after his appeal in the CAS,'' Bajwa said.

"I am very optimistic that Amir will return to international cricket in near future.''

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf said earlier this month that he would see how Amir's appeal goes in the CAS, but the cricket board may assist Asif in his rehabilitation through an education program whether his ban is reduced or not.

Amir was considered one of cricket's brightest prospects, claiming 51 wickets in 14 Test matches and 25 wickets in 15 ODIs before bowling those infamous no-balls.

The PCB chief admitted that it was a case of a huge talent lost and said once Amir serves his ban it was up to the selectors to pick him for the national team. 

Source:
AP
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