Amir not out of the woods yet


Pakistan’s banned pacer, Muhammad Amir, is still not out of the woods after breaching his ban by playing a cricket match for a domestic side in England. Talking on the investigation in this regard, James Fitzgerald, the media and communication manager of the International Cricket Council (ICC) said, “It’s still ongoing.”
According to reports quoting credible sources within the ICC, there is a strong possibility that the cricketer might see an extension in his ban from International cricket, which currently stands at five-years. Speaking on the matter, a source on the condition of anonymity said, “The inquiry being conducted also involves ECB and Surrey officials along with the players who were involved in the match. The ICC won’t be lenient this time with Amir who was also warned earlier. There’s a strong possibility of extending the ban on him.”
If the 19-year-old pacer gets his ban extended, it is most likely going to ruin his chances of ever making a comeback in international cricket. Nonetheless, he was previously warned by the ICC when he played a local match in Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in January, 2011. Making the same mistake again has landed him in trouble this time as the ICC seems pretty determined to take strict action against him.
In June, 2011, Amir was reported to have played a match for a village team named Addington 1743, which was a clear violation of the terms and conditions of his ban, which makes it compulsory for him not to take part in any cricket event sanctioned by the ICC or its affiliate member boards.
Meanwhile, the cricketer is adamant that he had no idea that the match was sanctioned by the ECB and is not guilty of deliberately violating his ban.
This incident left the ECB in a difficult situation and now a full investigation is underway to find out the reason as to why the banned pacer was allowed to play in the match.
In the summer of 2010, Amir along with his then test captain, the left-handed opening batsman, Salman Butt, and fellow pacer Mohammad Asif, was banned from International cricket after their involvement in a spot-fixing scandal was decided upon in a hearing conducted by the ICC, at Doha, Qatar.
The trio landed in hot water, when a British tabloid “News of the World” provided video evidence, showing the players having links with a bookie named Mazhar Majeed. According to the tabloid, the players took bribes to bowl no-balls in the Lord’s Test against England.
The scandal engulfed the cricketing world and an immediate investigation was launched by the ICC. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also came under scrutiny, forcing the board to introduce tougher penalties in the contracts of the players regarding their involvement in any illegal activity.
The trio, along with Majeed, is also facing criminal charges in England for defrauding bookmakers and if they are convicted, they could be sentenced to prison or may have to pay heavy fines.


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