Banned Amir cleared for domestic cricket return

Pakistan fast-bowler has been allowed by the governing body to play domestic cricket before his ban ends in Sept.

    Amir has taken 99 international wickets for Pakistan [Getty Images]
    Amir has taken 99 international wickets for Pakistan [Getty Images]

    Banned Pakistan fast-bowler Mohammad Amir has received an early reprieve for a return to domestic cricket following his cooperation with anti-corruption (ACSU) officials, the International Cricket Council said.

    Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Amir were all banned for spot-fixing during Pakistan's tour of England in 2010, particularly for incidents during the fourth Test at Lord's.

    Amir's career
       M  Wkts Best Avg
    Tests  14 51 7-106 29.1
    ODIs 15 25 4-28 24.0
    Twenty20Is  18 23 3-23 19.9

    The trio, who also served jail sentences in Britain, were given minimum five-year bans by an ICC tribunal while Butt was also given a two-year suspended sentence.

    The fast-bowler has vowed to put behind a spot-fixing scandal and return as a reformed player.

    "This is the best day of my life as the last five years have been a big lesson for me," Amir told Reuters. "I don't just want to get back as a top cricketer but also as a better human being who has reformed himself.

    "I need just a month or so to get back to match fitness but it is yet to be decided when and with which team I will resume playing cricket."

    This is the best day of my life as the last five years have been a big lesson for me

    Mohammad Amir, Pakistan fast-bowler

    Discretion exercised

    Amir's five-year ban was scheduled to expire on September 2 but the 22-year-old could return to domestic cricket with immediate effect, the ICC said in a statement.

    "The ACSU Chairman, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, with the prior approval of the ICC Board and the PCB, has exercised his discretion to allow Mohammad Amir to return to domestic cricket played under the auspices of the PCB with immediate effect," the governing body said.

    "The ACSU Chairman... was satisfied that Amir 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."

    Left-arm paceman Amir was marked as a great prospect for Pakistan in his early days and at the age of 18 he became the youngest bowler to capture 50 Test wickets.

    According to a revised anti-corruption code, a banned player can appeal to ICC's ACSU to allow him to resume playing domestic cricket before the end of his ban.

    The PCB decided to help Amir with his appeal but ruled out helping Butt and Asif with any relaxation.

    Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is also serving a life ban since 2012 for spot-fixing.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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