Amir confesses of being involved in spot-fixing

Zeecric Bureau

Lahore: In a startling confession made by ‘tainted’ Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir, the 19-year old gave out a statement to the Pakistan team management that he was ‘lured’ into the spot-fixing scandal by former skipper Salman Butt.

Amir also confessed that he never wanted to be a part of the fixing-scandal that rocked Pakistan’s Test tour of England, and that he was forced into the scam by Butt, who is also under the fixing scanner.

Ealier, last month, a sting operation by a British tabloid revealed skipper Salman Butt, pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were involved in spot-fixing during their England tour, and thus, were provisionally suspended by the ICC early this month after being accused of accepting bribes from match-fixers.

The Pakistan team management, however, have continued to deny the charges till date.

But Amir’s revelations have given a different turn to the entire situation.

According to sources, some of Pakistan’s senior players saw Amir meeting with the team’s ODI captain Shahid Afridi, who later took the teary-eyed youngster to team manager Yawar Saeed, and the trio discussed the issue for some time at the team hotel, The News reported.

“Amir told the team management that he wasn’t aware of the gravity of the situation and also claimed that he just followed Butt’s instructions,” revealed a well-placed source.

He added that the 19-year-old bowler told Afridi and Yawar that he did not even know Mazhar Majeed, and was introduced to him by Salman.

“Amir told Afridi as well as the team manager that he was completely unaware of what was going on. He asked them to help him get out of the mess,” claimed the source.

Amir, regarded among the world’s best emerging fast bowlers, has received a lot of sympathy from various quarters, after he was suspended by the ICC following allegations that he and Asif had bowled deliberate no-balls during the fourth Test against England at Lord’s on the orders of match-fixers.

Former greats like England’s Michael Atherton, West Indies’ fast bowler Michael Holding, Australia’s Geoff Lawson, Pakistan’s Ramiz Raja and many others have urged the authorities to show leniency towards the talented young cricketer.

“Whilst I accept, if guilty, there can be no way back for Salman Butt, the captain, or Mohammad Asif, a cricketer who has enjoyed more lives than a cat, I hope the authorities can find a way to give Amir a second chance. He is a victim in this episode,” wrote Atherton, in one of his articles earlier this month.