Pakistan`s Amir hopeful of ban relaxation

Lahore: Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir said on Tuesday he hoped to play international cricket again "as soon as possible" after the game`s governing body said it would consider a request for his ban to be relaxed.

Amir, along with former captain Salman Butt and pace partner Mohammad Asif, was banned for a minimum of five years by the ICC on charges of spot-fixing during Pakistan`s tour of England in 2010.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) interim chairman Najam Sethi raised Amir’s ban at the annual meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in London last week.

On Monday, a PCB spokesman told AFP that the ICC had formed a five-member committee to look into Amir`s ban.

ICC committee chairman Giles Clarke, also chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, confirmed the formation of the committee.

In a telephone interview, 21-year-old Amir -- who was seen as a rapidly developing paceman in 2010 -- said he was "thankful" at the prospect of certain conditions of the ban being relaxed.

"I am thankful to the PCB chairman Najam Sethi for raising voice for me on the ICC platform and now ICC forming a committee has given me a new vigour to restart my career," Amir said.

"This is the first time that someone in Pakistan cricket has made an effort for me and I am very happy at the prospect of getting a relaxation."

Amir said he had apologised to the nation and has cooperated with the ICC`s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).

"I have cooperated with the ACSU and will do it as and when required, so I hope that I will get to play international cricket as soon as possible."

The talented pacer, caught in the controversy at a very early stage in his career, said the events were behind him now.

"I was enjoying cricket and suddenly that happened but those sad events are behind me. I am training well and I am eager to play for my country again."


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