Karachi: Banned trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir have been summoned to Islamabad by the Pakistan government tomorrow following sanctions handed out to them by the ICC for involvement in spot fixing.
Pakistan’s sports minister Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani confirmed that three have been called to the capital for a meeting with him that would also be attended by interior minister Rehman Malik.
“Obviously we want to have a talk with them regarding the bans and their involvement in spot-fixing and also about what they plan to do in future,” Jakhrani said.
The minister had backed the verdict of the ICC anti-corruption tribunal to ban the three players for varying periods but said the government has some reservations over the five year ban imposed on Amir which he termed as harsh.
Jakhrani said that the government supported all ICC anti-corruption measures but also wanted to hear from the players.
However, sources close to the minister said that the meeting has also been convened because of the summons issued by the Crown Prosecution Office in London for the trio to appear in a Westminister court on March 17 to face criminal charges of accepting bribes and defrauding in the spot-fixing case.
“The interior minister wants to make it clear to the players the consequences of the London police filing formal criminal charges against them and instruct them to ensure they appear in the London court on the given date as it was on the assurance of the government that the trio were allowed to return from London last while they were suspended by the ICC and the London police was also investigating spot-fixing allegations against them.”
“The government apparently wants to find out if there was any way it could help out the players in the worst periods of their lives,” the source stated.
Meanwhile, the mother of Mohammad Amir has appealed to the government to help her who she claims has never brought home earnings from corrupt means.
“We never thought that Amir would be banned for five years. But I am confident that God will help him and he will get another chance to play for Pakistan again,” she said.
“Sometimes I think someone has cast a spell on Aamir.”