Once his five-year ban ends, Muhammad Aamir can be selected: Najam Sethi

Disgraced Pakistan paceman Mohammad Aamir will be eligible to play international cricket as soon as his five-year ban ends on September 2 this year, former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi said on Monday.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 02, 2015, 21:23 PM IST
Once his five-year ban ends, Muhammad Aamir can be selected: Najam Sethi

Karachi: Disgraced Pakistan paceman Mohammad Aamir will be eligible to play international cricket as soon as his five-year ban ends on September 2 this year, former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi said on Monday.

Sethi, who currently heads the executive committee of the PCB and is also a member of the board of governors in the PCB, said after revision of the anti-corruption laws, Aamir would be eligible to play international cricket following the end of his ban.

"Once his five-year ban ends, he can be selected in the national team. The reason we took up his case was because we got top legal opinion and they said Aamir had been given the most severe punishment among the three players, who were banned for spot fixing," Sethi said on 'Geo News' channel.

"If we had not taken up his case and the anti-corruption laws had not been revised, it would have taken time for him to be eligible to play international cricket even after his five year ban ended," he added.

Sethi was the chief of PCB in 2013 when the Board took up Aamir's case with the ICC, which led to the revision of anti-corruption laws.

"Aamir was very young when he got punished for spot fixing and he felt remorse and cooperated with the ICC and us from the start. But the ICC anti-corruption laws at that time didn't have any clause which could allow him to be given a reduced sentence and relaxation because of his age and compared to Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif, who were adults.

"At the same time the laws at that time also were not clear on his comeback once his five-year ban was over. So we pushed for this case after taking expert legal opinion in London. The opinion we got was that Aamir was 18 when he was banned and the ICC should have some clauses to give relaxation to such a young player who was also cooperating with the inquiry and had confessed to the crime," revealed Sethi.

"That is why we pushed for his case and I must say that the England and Australian cricket boards supported us in this and the special committee was formed to revise the anti-corruption laws," he said.

Sethi said the concerns raised by former Test captain Rameez Raja and some others over tainted players making a comeback in the team was justified and understandable because of what happened in the past in Pakistan cricket.

"But we feel Aamir deserves a second chance because he cooperated with us and has rehabilitated himself. But now the selectors have to see whether his cricket form and fitness is such that he can return to the national team after September," Sethi said.

He informed that allowing Aamir to play domestic cricket was also a decision taken by the ICC under the new anti-corruption laws.

"He has served his punishment and he deserves to be a given a second chance," insisted Sethi.