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Pakistan to Seek Aamer’s Clearance Next Week

by AFP
Mohammad Aamer's ban will expire in August 2015. Arif Ali—AFP

Mohammad Aamer’s ban will expire in August 2015. Arif Ali—AFP

Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif have not completed their rehab and will not be granted reprieve, according to PCB chief.

Pakistan’s cricket chief on Tuesday said that an appeal will be lodged with the international anti-corruption unit to clear the way for Mohammad Aamer to play domestic matches before his five-year ban expires.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday revised its anti-corruption code, which means that banned players can feature in home matches a few months prior to the end of their ban, specifically benefitting Aamer. The ICC said it would be up to the home board, Anti-Corruption Security (ACSU) Chairman Ronnie Flanagan and the ICC Board to take the final call.

Aamer’s ban expires in August 2015. The 22-year-old bowler was banned with then-captain Salman Butt and pace partner Mohammad Asif for accepting money in return for deliberate no-balls during the Lord’s Test against England in 2010.

The ICC’s anti-corruption tribunal banned Aamer for five years, Butt for 10 years with five suspended and Asif for seven years with two suspended. The trio was also jailed in Britain.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan said his board was in the process of filing an appeal. “The ball is in our court now,” he said on the sidelines of the first Test between Pakistan and New Zealand. “As soon as the code was revised and passed we started to prepare a paper and in the next few days we will send it to the ACSU chairman and he will decide,” said Khan.

Khan said the PCB was satisfied with Aamer’s rehabilitation, made mandatory for the banned players by the ICC tribunal. “We are satisfied that Aamer has done the rehab and from the beginning he was co-operative and the case was ready for us and we hope that in the next ICC meeting on Jan. 26 we will have a final decision,” said Khan, a former diplomat. “The way is open for Aamer’s return.”

Before the ban, Aamer was playing for leading Pakistani team National Bank, but his employers terminated his contract after he was banned. Khan said Butt and Asif have not done enough rehab to warrant the same relaxation. “The other two players have not shown the remorse or they have not helped others to avoid this pitfall, Aamer has done that so his case is different from Butt and Asif and we have told the other two that until their rehab is not completed they will not get that relaxation,” said Khan.

Butt and Asif last week objected to the help offered to Aamer and had claimed that they had finished their rehab. Butt said on Tuesday he expected the PCB to also help him get an early end to his ban. “Cricket is my bread and butter and I hope the PCB take up my appeal as well as this is the only chance I can relive my passion, that is cricket,” Butt told AFP. “I have been to the PCB offices a dozen times in the past year to know what else I have to do to complete my rehab but I am still waiting for their final reply,” he added.

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