Banned Pakistani pacer says he thought amateur league match was friendly

banned-pakistan-pacer-says-he-thought-amateur-league-match-was-friendlyISLAMABAD: Banned Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Aamir is being investigated after playing for an English amateur club side in a league match on Saturday despite his five-year suspension for spot-fixing applying to all official cricket. The pace bowler, 19, was banned for a minimum of five years along with team mates Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt by an ICC tribunal in February for bowling deliberate no balls during a Test match in England last year. The case is currently going through the criminal courts. “I was informed by club representatives before the game that it was a friendly match, being played on a privately owned cricket ground. I asked the club representatives if the match fell under the jurisdiction of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and they informed me that the match did not,” Aamir was quoted as saying by cricket website www.pakpassion.net.

Aamir also denied that he had signed any registration documents with the club and insisted that he would never have taken the risk of playing had he known it was an official match. “I would not be stupid enough to knowingly play in a match that I knew would contravene my ban.” The website of Surrey Cricket League Division One team Addington 1743 CC (http://addington1743.play-cricket.com) shows a scorecard on which Aamir scored 60 with the bat and took four for nine off seven overs against St Luke’s. “We are aware of the reports and we are looking into it,” ICC spokesman James Fitzgerald said on Wednesday.

British newspapers quoted players as saying they are sure it was the banned Aamir turning out for the amateur team. “The ECB has been notified of an allegation that Aamir, the Pakistan international cricketer who is the subject of ongoing criminal proceedings in the English courts, played in a Surrey Cricket League Division 1 cricket match on 4 June 2011 for Addington (1743) CC against St Lukes CC,” an ECB statement said. “The ECB is investigating and liaising with the ICC as appropriate, but in light of the ongoing criminal proceedings, the ECB will not be making any further public comment about this matter.” The club were not immediately available to comment.

This is not the first time Aamir has appeared in a game which has had to be investigated by cricket authorities. Earlier this year in January, when he was under provisional suspension and still awaiting punishment for the Lord’s scandal, he turned out for a Rawalpindi club to play a friendly game. That prompted the ICC and PCB to investigate the nature of the game before the former eventually concluded that it was an unofficial game and the club wasn’t registered with the Rawalpindi Cricket Association, Aamir was thus found to have not broken the ICC’s anti-corruption code of conduct. – DailyTimes