ICC to 'review' Aamer's ban

2013-10-19 22:21
Mohammad Aamer (AFP)

London - Pakistan seamer Mohammad Aamer's five-year match-fixing ban will be "reviewed" after a "revised" anti-corruption code has been adopted by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the global governing body said on Saturday.

Officials plan to discuss the new code in January although a statement issued on Saturday after a two-day ICC board meeting in London left open the possibility its adoption could be delayed.

"The ICC board was informed that a revised version of a more robust and strengthened ICC anti-corruption code will be submitted for discussion/approval at the January 2014 meeting," the statement said.

"During the discussion, the matter of Mohammad Aamer's five-year ban also came up for discussion.

"The ICC board decided to review the matter in due course after the revised ICC anti-corruption code has been finalised and adopted."

This statement will come as a disappointment to Aamer, who had been buoyed in the build-up to this weekend's meeting by the fact the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had taken up his case with the ICC.

"I am desperate to play the game I love - I have not lost hope that good news is just around the corner," Aamer said on Friday.

"I made a mistake and got the punishment. I am thankful to the PCB for taking up the matter with the ICC," Aamer added.

In February 2011 the now 21-year-old Aamer was banned for five years, along with team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, for deliberately bowling no-balls in return for the promise of money during the 2010 Lord's Test against England.

Butt, Pakistan's captain at the time of the incident which came about as a result of a sting operation by now defunct UK tabloid the News of the World, was banned for 10 years (five suspended) and Asif seven years (two suspended).

All three players served jailed terms for violating English law's Gambling Act.

There was, however, widespread sympathy for talented left-arm paceman Aamer, who at the time of the scandal was regarded as world cricket's hottest property,

He'd made a huge impression in 14 Tests, taking 51 wickets at an average of under 30 apiece following his debut in 2009, with a best of six for 84 against England at Lord's in 2010 - the same match in which he bowled the no-balls that led to his downfall.

Speaking to AFP ahead of the ICC board meeting, PCB legal advisor Taffazul Rizvi said Aamer deserved credit for pleading guilty and cooperating with the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).

"Our point of view is that Aamer has accepted his guilt and is cooperating with the ACSU, has made a video to warn future generations (about the dangers of match-fixing)," Rizvi said.

"We believe the ban was imposed when he was only 18 and contesting the allegations at that time.

"We think it ought to be reviewed, whereby some door can be opened to allow him to play domestic cricket or train," Rizvi added.

Butt and Asif have also approached the PCB to seek their help in reducing their respective bans.

But given their greater experience, and the fact that Butt in particular was widely regarded as having helped lead Aamer astray, their pleas have so far been ignored by the PCB.

Read more on:    pakistan  |  mohammad aamer  |  cricket

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