Lahore: Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has urged the ICC to reduce the five-year ban on teen fast bowler Mohammad Amir for involvement in spot-fixing as he feels the youngster deserves a second chance.
"Everyone deserves a second chance in life. Everyone makes mistakes. He should be made to realise the wrong he has done. But he should also be used as a role model to educate others about the evil of corruption in sports," Akhtar said on a television show.
The 19-year-old Amir was released from a young offender`s institution last week in the UK after he completed three months of a six month jail sentence for his role in the spot-fixing scandal that rocked international cricket when Pakistan toured England in 2010.
The left-arm pacer still has to complete the five-year ban that was last year imposed on him and two other Pakistani players, Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif for the same offence.
But Akhtar felt that Amir had been trapped into committing a criminal offence because of his young age.
"He is a great talent and if he can comeback and show the world that he is now reformed. If he can win matches for Pakistan what better message to send out to people who are seduced into corruption that crime does not pay," Akhtar said.
"The PCB should rehabilitate and educate him and ask the ICC to reconsider the five year ban. I am happy to read that PCB Chairman, Zaka Ashraf has also spoken about rehabilitating Amir," Akhtar said.
Amir`s mentor and coach Asif Bajwa also supported Akhtar`s contention.
"I agree that Amir was very young when he got trapped into this scandal. I know he has learnt his lesson. He needs to be given a chance to show the world that he is sorry for what he did," Bajwa said.