Karachi: Former PCB chief Shahriar Khan on Sunday said the bans imposed on the the Pakistani trio were justified because of the serious nature of the crime, though the country’s sports minister, Ajaz Jakhrani, has called on the ICC to review the five-year ban imposed on Mohammad Amir.
“Yes, I feel sad for Amir, but a wrong is a wrong. I think it is time the ICC took some action against corruption in cricket and I was expecting a much harsher punishment for the players,” Khan said.
Jakhrani told reporters in Islamabad that he was surprised by the “long” ban on the young pacer.
“We think the ICC must review the ban on Amir again because he is young and was influenced into doing things he might not have wanted to do,” Jakhrani said.
The minister said the bans on Salman Butt, Amir and Mohammad Asif would impact Pakistan’s sports fraternity, though the ICC said it was convinced and took action under the laws.
“But we think the punishment on Amir is a bit too harsh and he should be given a chance to redeem and reform and make a comeback to cricket,” he said.
Khan told PTI that the players now need to sit down and chart out their future plan of action as they have also been charged by London Metropolitan Police of corruption.
“I don’t know how they will manage things but what is interesting is that while the Crown Prosecution Office has called them on March 17, they have 21 days to appeal the bans imposed by the ICC anti-corruption tribunal.
“That means they have to decide quickly what they want to do, but I personally feel they must take the case in London seriously because it is criminal in nature and I would not like to see a one-handed decision passed against them,” Khan said.
Former leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed felt that the only way back to cricket for the players was through a legal course.
“I don’t know why the ICC chief executive, Haroon Lorgat has said that Asif and Amir can’t return to cricket because they have the right to appeal and Amir is still young and even if he completes five years of ban he will still be only 24,” Mushtaq said.
The leg-spinner said he was disappointed with the whole episode but was relieved that some measures have finally been taken to root out corruption in cricket.