ICC news June 8, 2011

ICC investigating Amir for breach of ban

ESPNcricinfo staff

The ICC is investigating claims that Pakistan seamer Mohammad Amir has defied his ICC ban by playing for Addington in the Surrey Cricket League Division One, according to a report in the Daily Star. The sanction - imposed on Amir and two other Pakistani cricketers following the spot-fixing investigation - bars him from participating in the game at any recognised level, and he could be in breach of the ICC ruling if he played for Addington.

"We are investigating and awaiting the details," ICC spokesman Colin Gibson told the paper. "If true, it is clearly a breach of the sanction imposed in February. The ban is absolutely worldwide covering all levels and any activities connected with cricket. What might happen next is a hypothetical question at this stage."

Amir was central to Addington's 81-run victory in the game, against St Luke's CC. He surprisingly opened the innings and scored 60 before returning figures of 4 for 9 in seven overs.

St Luke's batsman Karl Quinn was surprised by Amir's unexpected inclusion. "No one could quite believe it was him," Quinn was quoted in Daily Star. "There was no attempt to disguise who he was, he even posed for a picture with me. One of our Pakistani players was rubbing his eyes in disbelief and asking: 'Is that who I think it is?' He didn't stay till the end but it was blatantly him."

When asked over telephone about Amir's participation, Addington captain Ijaz Raja's response was cryptic. "You tell me," he is reported to have said, before hanging up.

Amir was handed a five-year ban from the game after being found guilty of bowling no-balls on demand during the Lord's Test against England last summer. Amir's team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were also handed bans, and all three players are awaiting trial at Southwark Crown Court over allegations of cheating and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments.

This is not the first time Amir 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; Amir was thus found to have not broken the ICC's anti-corruption code of conduct.