Karachi: Former ICC President, Ehsan Mani has advised the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to proceed with caution while dealing with the tainted cricketers who were banned for spot-fixing.
Mani, who is in Lahore, said he got the feeling that perhaps PCB was rushing things to get the banned pacer, Muhammad Aamir back into the national team. "I would caution the PCB to tread carefully in this issue because first it has to be satisfied completely the players who are allowed back into cricket after serving punishments for spot-fixing have totally reformed themselves and secondly they are not a threat to the other players," he said.
Mani, who served as ICC President between 2003 and 2006 after being nominated by Pakistan for the post, is heading the PCB's special committee given the task of awarding media rights for the next five years.
Mani said he agreed with Pakistan's former captain Rameez Raja that allowing back tainted and guilty players back into cricket could send a wrong message to others.
"I just feel that the PCB should take its time in dealing with the cases of Aamir, Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif. Because it is not going to be easy for these players to get back into cricket," he added.
Mani pointed out that while the players were punished for spot-fixing, the ICC and PCB should let them first complete their full ban periods before giving them relaxation to play cricket again.
"The ban periods of these three players will end late next year so there shouldn't be a hurry on anyone's part. First let them complete their bans." Mani said the PCB would have to see what impact the presence of these players could have on others in the dressing room or in domestic cricket.
"Cricket is a great sport and I personally feel strongly about those who indulge in corruption in cricket."
The ICC recently revised its anti-corruption laws under which now the anti-corruption unit head can give relaxation to a home board to allow a banned player to resume playing domestic or club cricket before his ban period ends officially.
The PCB has written to the ICC to give relaxation to the 22-year-old Aamir to start playing domestic cricket this season before his ban ends sometime in August, 2015.
Aamir, Butt and Asif have all admitted to spot-fixing during the fourth Test against England at Lords in 2010 after which they were immediately suspended by the ICC and then banned for minimum five years by the anti-corruption tribunal of the ICC in early 2011.
The three have also served jail terms in the UK for the same offence before returning to Pakistan.