Akram calls for ICC to curtail bans on Amir, Asif, Butt

A swift annulment of Amir’s suspension would potentially make him available for the ICC Cricket World Cup early next year in Australia and New Zealand.

By Alex Leach - Senior Reporter

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Thu 30 Oct 2014, 6:06 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:12 PM

Dubai: Wasim Akram has urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to show clemency to the three controversial characters that brought shame to the gentleman’s game four years ago.

Mohammad Amir, Mohammed Asif and Salman Butt were found guilty of spot-fixing after the fourth Test match between England and Pakistan at Lord’s back in 2010, when the trio conspired with sports agent/bookmaker Mazhar Majeed to bowl no balls at pre-arranged points.

Butt and Asif were subsequently banned for 10 and seven years respectively, with the former having half his sentence suspended and the latter seeing two years lopped off on condition of them exhibiting more ethical behaviour in future.

Amir also got five years and was sentenced to six months in jail -- the shortest prison term handed down to the quartet in the criminal proceedings as Asif got one year, Butt 30 months and Majeed two years and eight months overall.

Fast bowler Amir’s professional exile expires in September next year and it is believed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials are lobbying the ICC to bring forward his contentious return to the fray.

It was believed an official announcement on this situation would be made this month, yet -- with one not forthcoming as yet -- Akram has waded into issue and called for immediate reprieves for Amir and Co.

“I’m all for cricketers who have served their time,” Akram explained. “Mohammad Amir is young and an incredible talent.

“He has apologised to the world and gone to jail. He has done his time, so I reckon it’s about time that he should come back and play his cricket because he is a very talented cricketer. He’s one of the best bowlers -- at his age -- I’ve ever seen. Hopefully, he’ll come back soon. Let’s hope so anyway.

“I read on Wednesday that the ICC will probably be a little more lenient against these banned guys because that’s their livelihoods. They’re nothing without cricket.

“I’m not praising them at all for what they were up to. But, it’s the PCB’s job to actually put their case in front of the ICC and then they can decide.

“I’m all for people getting on with their lives as that matters to me at the end of the day.”

A swift annulment of Amir’s suspension would potentially make him available for the ICC Cricket World Cup early next year in Australia and New Zealand.

Nonetheless, Akram isn’t in favour of needlessly rushing the youngster’s prospective comeback after so years away from competitive cricket, especially with Amir’s age (22) still on his side compared to Asif (31) and Butt (30).

“The World Cup might come too early for him, but -- after that -- he should at the very least be thinking about playing first-class cricket for one or two seasons to get back into gear,” he added.

“It’s impossible to make an immediate comeback after a few years of just sitting around and doing nothing.”

alex@khaleejtimes.com



More news from