Pak minister urges ICC to review Amir ban

Updated: Feb 06, 2011, 19:45 PM IST

Karachi: Pakistan Sports Minister Ajaz Jakhrani on Sunday urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to review the five-year ban imposed on the young pace bowler Mohammad Amir.

Jakhrani said he was surprised by the lengthy ban on Amir because of his young age.

“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 told media in Islamabad.

The minister said the overall impact of the bans on Salman Butt, Amir and Mohammad Asif was a big shock for Pakistan sports but apparently the ICC was convinced of the players guilt and took action as per their 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.

Shaharyar Khan, former PCB Chairman, said the players now needed to sit down and chalk out their future course of action as they faced more problems with the London Metropolitan Police also charging them with corruption offences.

“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.

“It 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.

The former PCB chief also said that the bans imposed on the players were justified because of the serious nature of the crime.

“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. Yes I feel sad for Amir but a wrong is a wrong,” Khan said.

Former Pakistan leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed, however, 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 cannot 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 when the ban ends,” Mushtaq said.

The leg-spinner said he was disappointed with the whole episode but was happy to see that finally some measures were being taken to root out corruption from cricket.