‘Amir`s age shouldn`t matter in spot-fixing row’

Cardiff: Pakistan cricket team`s associate manager Shafqat Rana says 18-year-old pace sensation Mohammad Amir should not be shown any leniency because of his tender age if he is found guilty of spot-fixing charges.

"I do not believe a player`s age has any significance in this issue. it is the same for everybody. If Amir is found to have broken the law, it doesn`t matter that he is so young. He should be given the same punishment as anyone else," Rana told reporters here.

Rana said even back in Pakistan the general mood is that if Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif -- all of whom suspended after their names cropped up in a spot-fixing scandal exposed by a British tabloid -- should be punished if the charges against them are proved.

"I think that is the feeling back home in Pakistan too. At home, they want everything to be done in the best spirit of the game," he said.

Rana`s comments contradict ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat who feels Amir`s age should be a factor while deciding on the matter.

"In my own honest personal view, yes I would think age would come into account in these matters. But that is something the independent tribunal will have to decide upon," he had said.

Pakistani cricketers` finances are being probed by the tax authorities in the aftermath of the spot-fixing row and Rana and ODI and Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi welcomed the move.

"I think it is a good thing from the Pakistan government. It was there in their (the government`s) mind before we came over. I think it`s a good thing, it will open things out so they (the players) will be very careful," said Rana.

"It should be done and it`s good for cricket," added Afridi.

Afridi said the players are being regularly educated about the perils of corruption in the sport.

"The people are coming from the ICC (International Cricket Council) and they are always talking about these things. If you have any problems, you definitely go straight to the (team) manager and talk to him," he said.

"I think we all know about these things so I think the people from ICC are doing their work," he added.