ICC hints at lesser penalty for Amir

Updated: Oct 03, 2010, 22:30 PM IST

Karachi: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has hinted that Mohammad Amir, one of the three Pakistani players implicated in spot-fixing scandal, may draw the lowest charge and have the option of returning to cricket, if he is found guilty of spot-fixing.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat disclosed that the tainted trio were likely to be treated differently, as skipper Salman Butt would have far more influence than 18-year-old Amir, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

````Once we present the charges we will be asking for proportionate sanctions,```` Lorgat stated.

````There is still some work to be done, on exactly (what penalties are appropriate) for bowling a no-ball, and instructing a no-ball. We said to Butt we have got evidence upon which we said we``re charging you, because we want to protect the integrity of the game. We believe there is a very strong case which justified our actions (to suspend him), and there is nothing we can do until he appeals.````

The alleged spot-fixers, Butt, Amir and Mohammad Asif, are expected to make separate defences in their hearings, as they have hired different legal teams after lodging individual appeals against their provisional suspensions by the ICC.

While Asif is likely to fall into the more serious charge category, given his long list of previous indiscretions, many have argued that teenage pacer Amir should be allowed to return to the game, even if he is found guilty, keeping in view his naivety and youth.

A few days back, a team source revealed, “Amir told the team management that he wasn’t aware of the gravity of the situation and also claimed that he just followed Butt’s instructions. Amir told (Shahid) Afridi as well as the team manager that he was completely unaware of what was going on. He asked them to help him get out of the mess.”

However, according to the ICC rulebook, the lowest penalty for a player found guilty of being approached by a fixer and not reporting it is a six-month ban.

ANI