DUBAI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday said it has allowed Mohammad Amir to play domestic cricket, a decision taken in its first meeting of 2015 at the ICC Headquarters in Dubai.
A statement posted to the ICC website said that ICC’s Anti Corruption and Security Unit Chairman (ACSU), Sir Ronnie Flanagan, has exercised his discretion to allow Mohammad Amir to return to domestic cricket played under the auspices of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) with immediate effect.
it added that the decision has been taken with the prior approval of the ICC Board and the PCB.
The young cricketer’s five-year ban is scheduled to expire on September 2 this year.
The statement said the ACSU Chairman was satisfied that Amir had cooperated with the unit 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.”
Amir was sentenced to six months in prison in England for bowling no-balls at prearranged times during a match at Lord’s in August 2010 after fellow Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were also sentenced for spot-fixing.
Amir, who was 18 at the time of the incident, pleaded guilty and returned to Pakistan in 2012.
On Wednesday, however, former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) retired Lt Gen Tauqir Zia questioned the possible return of tainted fast bowler Mohammad Amir to international cricket.
Speaking to reporters at a book-launching ceremony here on Wednesday, Tauqir said, “Amir should not be allowed to return to international cricket.”
He added that Amir’s return might create problems for his team-mates as it would not be easy for them to adjust with the “criminal”.
He claimed that the tainted fast bowler tried to meet him during a function but he refused to do so.
“I observed during the function that Amir did not learn a lesson from the ban,” he said.
Former captain Butt, Asif and Amir served jail sentences in the United Kingdom and have been given minimum five year bans by the anti-corruption tribunal of the ICC. But while the ban for Butt and Amir ends in September, the former also has been given a two-year suspended sentence.
“Amir’s case is different from those of Butt and Asif. These two have still not really accepted their guilt. We want them to do more first to convince us they are repentant,” PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said in an interview last year.
“First they convince us they want to reform themselves and then we will decide when to approach the ICC.”
He said Amir had co-operated with the PCB and ICC in reforming himself. Khan, however, ruled out an immediate return for Amir to competitive cricket.
“It is a process under the new anti-corruption code and it will take time. Only the ACSU can give relaxation to a banned player,” he said.
Under the revised code, a banned player can apply to ICC’s ACSU to allow him to resume playing domestic cricket before the end of his ban.
Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is also serving a life ban for spot-fixing since 2012.
This blog was originally published here.