Spot-fixing controversy December 20, 2011

Treat Amir more leniently - Brearley

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Mike Brearley, the former England captain, has said that Mohammad Amir, the Pakistan fast bowler currently in prison for his role in the spot-fixing scandal, should be treated more leniently. Brearley said the pressure put on young players to fix spots or matches can be "appalling" and, should they admit their guilt and be willing to play their part in the fight against corruption, they ought to be given a second chance.

"We also need to recognise that the pressure put on the young player by criminal bookies or their agents, or by their corrupt team-mates, can be appalling," Brearley said in his Voice of Cricket Lecture at the Raj Singh Dungarpur World Cricket Summit in Mumbai. "As a result, some of those involved might need to be treated with compassion, especially if they admit their guilt and are willing to be enlisted in the battle against corruption. Deterrent and retributive justice tempered with mercy and discrimination is vital in sentencing and punishing.

"I don't think the whole truth has been told yet, or can be told. The 18-year old Mohammad Amir, who was subject to pressure and was, I believe, uninterested in any illegal financial gain, should have been, and I think should now be, treated much more leniently."

Amir was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat during the Lord's Test in August last year. The case was brought to court following a sting operation by the News of the World newspaper, which alleged that player agent Mazhar Majeed had arranged for Pakistan captain Salman Butt to ensure Amir and Mohammad Asif would bowl three pre-determined no balls.

Unlike Butt and Asif, who were found guilty after a 21-day trial, Amir had pleaded guilty before the trial began. Justice Cooke, who presided over the trial, said the early admission of guilt played a part in the reduction of Amir's jail term from nine to six months. Amir's appeal against his sentence, however, was subsequently dismissed.

"Like all secret organisations that recruit the naïve for illegal activities, the criminals linked to gambling draw people in by involving them first in activities that seem of a minor importance," Brearley said, adding that such activities could include information about the pitch or fitness of players in the dressing room. "And once in, threats against the player or his family may make it extremely difficult to get out. In the strenuous search for exemplary punishment, there has to be room for giving a misguided young player a second chance."

Brearley said cheating was cricket's most important issue and called for stakeholders to speak out against it. "Whistleblowing should become an absolute duty for everyone in the game."

Siddhartha Talya is a sub editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 22, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Everyone deserve a second chance. We make lot of mistakes but we learn from them and make ourselves batter. The same goes with Aamir.

    Can anyone say that he/she has never cheated for a single word in their exam? I assume it would be a very rare case. We attack crime, so that a criminal become a good person not in a reverse order which can make a first timer a habitual.

  • on December 22, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    Anyway he is serving his sentence which will be ending soon and cannot be reverted. He is not a culprit, his circumstances and immatured age does this evil to him. ICC should consider to lift his ban completely and allow him to play. Otherwise excellent telent will go waste. I am sure he will never commit these kinds of mistakes and also he will become the role model for other future young players and guide them in right path.

  • on December 22, 2011, 2:59 GMT

    aamir was no akram dude still wasa long way good bowler and asif mainly played in green tops

  • milepost on December 21, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    vatsap, they committed a criminal offence in England, that's why they were tried here. I do think the courts considered Amir's plea and age. I was saddened to hear about the case as Amir seemed such a promising young cricketer.

  • on December 21, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    to be honest he is just paying a price of being pakistani ..i knw he commit a crime but if there was indian player or english player they would have get second chance ...take an example of suresh raina he got caught up in srilanka but it dint even come up in any news not even in cricinfo that how biased media is ... they dont want pakistan to groom whether its indian or england or australia ...

  • mahjut on December 21, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    No J_.doe I don't thik that has to be case. I know for sure that if you are surrounded by people advising you on what is considered 'right' it will sink in ... and you will be grateful for leniency. If you punish without consideration (ie. merely becasue it's a rule) that's when problems occur...

  • keptalittlelow on December 21, 2011, 14:23 GMT

    I am a Pakistan fan and I still miss the genius bowler Amir. However Amir did something very wrong which he must not have done, he has to pay for it, cricket cant afford to forgive corruption. Future Amirs would learn their lesson from todays Amir, how much sad it may be.

  • likeintcricket on December 21, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    Imagine Macrath and Wasim bowling together in Australia. Cricket has lost two of the most talented bowlers in Aamir and Asif. If these two are still there with Gul and great spinners a 200+ score will be a barrier for even Indian side on good wickets.Though Asif had some controversies before but Aamir is virtually innocent. He needed some one to come out to his rescue but no one did. Remember Cronje of South Africa did the same thing some years back but than he accepted the blame on himself and saved young Gibbs and other involved players. The only guilty party here was Salman Butt and he should be banned for life. But than these harsh Ban are a blessing for disguise for Pakistan cricket. They are showing great maturity and consistency now.

  • shillingsworth on December 21, 2011, 14:12 GMT

    @vatsap - The players stood trial in England for the very simple reason that the offences were committed in England. The appropriate punishment under English law was a term of imprisonment. It therefore makes perfect sense that they are behind bars. If Messrs Boje, Warne and Waugh had committed an offence in India, the Indian authorities were free to apply for their extradition. Had a cricketer from outside the sub continent been arrested there, the role of diplomats would merely have been to ensure that they had access to legal advice. There would have been no 'diplomatic storm'. As the Pakistani High Commissioner discovered, there is absolutely nothing to be gained by attempting to interfere in the legal process of another country.

    @dmqi - As a spectator, I expect to see players seeking to win a game of cricket. Accordingly, I am quite happy to be deprived of the dubious pleasure of watching Amir or anyone else bowl no balls to order.

  • SpartaArmy on December 21, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    I am one of those extremists who believes that corrupted players are no better than terrorists. In this case, the other two criminals (they don't even deserve to be addressed by a name) deserve more punishment than what they are serving now, because their main motive was trading innocent peoples faith for money and they never felt guilty about that; this guy, on the other hand, is a teenager, uneducated, and might be worried about the consequences of saying no to a criminal who is leading the team. Unlike the other two criminals, he has at least admitted that he committed a crime. I hope this guy do justice to his talent and to his country fans, at least after serving the punishment.

  • on December 22, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Everyone deserve a second chance. We make lot of mistakes but we learn from them and make ourselves batter. The same goes with Aamir.

    Can anyone say that he/she has never cheated for a single word in their exam? I assume it would be a very rare case. We attack crime, so that a criminal become a good person not in a reverse order which can make a first timer a habitual.

  • on December 22, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    Anyway he is serving his sentence which will be ending soon and cannot be reverted. He is not a culprit, his circumstances and immatured age does this evil to him. ICC should consider to lift his ban completely and allow him to play. Otherwise excellent telent will go waste. I am sure he will never commit these kinds of mistakes and also he will become the role model for other future young players and guide them in right path.

  • on December 22, 2011, 2:59 GMT

    aamir was no akram dude still wasa long way good bowler and asif mainly played in green tops

  • milepost on December 21, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    vatsap, they committed a criminal offence in England, that's why they were tried here. I do think the courts considered Amir's plea and age. I was saddened to hear about the case as Amir seemed such a promising young cricketer.

  • on December 21, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    to be honest he is just paying a price of being pakistani ..i knw he commit a crime but if there was indian player or english player they would have get second chance ...take an example of suresh raina he got caught up in srilanka but it dint even come up in any news not even in cricinfo that how biased media is ... they dont want pakistan to groom whether its indian or england or australia ...

  • mahjut on December 21, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    No J_.doe I don't thik that has to be case. I know for sure that if you are surrounded by people advising you on what is considered 'right' it will sink in ... and you will be grateful for leniency. If you punish without consideration (ie. merely becasue it's a rule) that's when problems occur...

  • keptalittlelow on December 21, 2011, 14:23 GMT

    I am a Pakistan fan and I still miss the genius bowler Amir. However Amir did something very wrong which he must not have done, he has to pay for it, cricket cant afford to forgive corruption. Future Amirs would learn their lesson from todays Amir, how much sad it may be.

  • likeintcricket on December 21, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    Imagine Macrath and Wasim bowling together in Australia. Cricket has lost two of the most talented bowlers in Aamir and Asif. If these two are still there with Gul and great spinners a 200+ score will be a barrier for even Indian side on good wickets.Though Asif had some controversies before but Aamir is virtually innocent. He needed some one to come out to his rescue but no one did. Remember Cronje of South Africa did the same thing some years back but than he accepted the blame on himself and saved young Gibbs and other involved players. The only guilty party here was Salman Butt and he should be banned for life. But than these harsh Ban are a blessing for disguise for Pakistan cricket. They are showing great maturity and consistency now.

  • shillingsworth on December 21, 2011, 14:12 GMT

    @vatsap - The players stood trial in England for the very simple reason that the offences were committed in England. The appropriate punishment under English law was a term of imprisonment. It therefore makes perfect sense that they are behind bars. If Messrs Boje, Warne and Waugh had committed an offence in India, the Indian authorities were free to apply for their extradition. Had a cricketer from outside the sub continent been arrested there, the role of diplomats would merely have been to ensure that they had access to legal advice. There would have been no 'diplomatic storm'. As the Pakistani High Commissioner discovered, there is absolutely nothing to be gained by attempting to interfere in the legal process of another country.

    @dmqi - As a spectator, I expect to see players seeking to win a game of cricket. Accordingly, I am quite happy to be deprived of the dubious pleasure of watching Amir or anyone else bowl no balls to order.

  • SpartaArmy on December 21, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    I am one of those extremists who believes that corrupted players are no better than terrorists. In this case, the other two criminals (they don't even deserve to be addressed by a name) deserve more punishment than what they are serving now, because their main motive was trading innocent peoples faith for money and they never felt guilty about that; this guy, on the other hand, is a teenager, uneducated, and might be worried about the consequences of saying no to a criminal who is leading the team. Unlike the other two criminals, he has at least admitted that he committed a crime. I hope this guy do justice to his talent and to his country fans, at least after serving the punishment.

  • YorkshirePudding on December 21, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    @vatsap, the reason they stood trial in England is because they commited the crimes in England, and they didnt have to turn up in court, although they would have been tried in absentia, and forfited any bail month that had been payed. As it was they thought they could convince a jury that they were innocent, Aamir saw the light and pleaded guilty, the other two didnt. Whether the 3 players you mention would turn up in the sub-continent will be unknown, the Indian police had an opportunity to deal with Herschel Gibbs but didnt try to prosecute him.

  • rahulcricket007 on December 21, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    AMIR WISH YOU A HAPPY RETURN .

  • YorkshirePudding on December 21, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    @Bobble_Head_Indian, the NFL example is specious, for one his 'dog fighting' conviction had nothing to do with the sport he played. Now if hed been shaving points the NFL probably wouldnt have allowed him back.

  • Ronsars on December 21, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    Believe Amir is young talented and all that but if he is treated liniently it will send a wrong message to all the youngsters that they can create a crime and get away with it with little or no punishment at all

  • on December 21, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    Mundey Mundey te marde nein :D

  • J._Doe on December 21, 2011, 11:18 GMT

    All I have to say is...if you don't enforce rules early in the life you create a rule breaking monster later in years that is hard to tame. Many of the offenders then feel that if they were punished for their very first crime...they would not have turned into a monster! And...when in doubt, do the right thing!

  • dmqi on December 21, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    It is true that Amir has committed a crime and must get punishment. But my question is why we all here see cricket as a special place to give morality a special status. Why are we not so vocal when we see corruption in almost all sphere of lives in almost every country. In USA 18 years and under are treated with softness when they commit a crime. Why is that? I think 5 years suspension is too much to deprive many spectators from this talented young bowler.

  • on December 21, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    please give second chance............

  • sharidas on December 21, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    I do agree with Brearley. It would be a waste of talent if Amir is kept away from Cricket for such a long period. I am sure more could be achieved if he was made to do community service by way of lecturing at schools and colleges as to what corruption could lead to....this can be effective only if he is playing and not if he was banned. At 18 or 19 one could easily be co-erced to do things which one would not like to do. Making an example is fine,but two is enough.

  • vatsap on December 21, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    In the first place never understood, why the Pakistani cricketers stood trial in England. They were guilty of spot fixing, but would Nicky Boje or Mark Waugh or Shane Warne come to India and attend court. It would have been a huge diplomatic row if a white cricketer was arrested in the Sub-continent. Unless there were other motives for them to being in UK it doesn't really make sense to be behind bars. The cricketers never had a chance.

    Aamir should have surely been given a chance. Considering the state of cricket in Pakistan and his back ground, some kind of warning or educative mechanism should have been used.

  • Mark00 on December 21, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    What Brearley says is true but for rules and laws to be effective over the long run, they have to be enforced impartially and without other considerations and that means that, sometimes, there will be unfortunate situations such as that of Amir.

  • on December 21, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    Amir does not deserve a chance, what he did was wrong and there was no problem replacing him. Pakistan is the land of fast bowlers, and today Junaid Khan, Aizaz Cheema have repaced such a kind who gave his country shame.

  • mhk21 on December 21, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    common cricinfo ...there should be a poll for amir for his comeback and we will see how many people want him back .....let icc know that their rules need to be amended about the punishment ....2 years are enough for this talented kid ....

  • Pathiyal on December 21, 2011, 4:29 GMT

    Totally agree with Mr. Brearley. amir's bowling is really being missed by the international cricket. hope his 6 months term will get over soon. wish him the very best in international cricket.

  • on December 21, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    Come on people leave them alone now. they have done a crime, got punishment and are now serving for it. thats it. doesnt matter now what we say. the thing that matters is Pakistan is not missing any of them and are playing really well without them.

  • on December 21, 2011, 2:27 GMT

    He admitted his mistake but that doesn't mean he needs to be pardoned. We should accept him back in the game after serving his term. He is a good player, hopefully he will learn from his mistake and entertain cricket fans with his skills in 2nd innings of his life. Everyone deserves 2nd chance.

  • on December 21, 2011, 0:02 GMT

    not at all he was not a baby, should have been punished more, i would say punish the board as well for being so incompetent, its responsibility of the cricket board to teach rules and regulation to younger player.

  • KashifMuneer on December 20, 2011, 23:33 GMT

    To all those who don't believe Amir is innocent - I agree that there is no excuse for misconduct and Amir should be punished BUT the level of punishment should be proportional to the severity of the crime. If Butt got 30 months and Amir got 6 months (that's 5 times less punishment for Amir) surely that's saying something. If Butt's ban is 10 years with permission to play after 5 years, then Amir's ban should be 2 years with permission to play after 1 year. Giving Amir almost the same punishment as Butt (5 year complete ban) is very harsh. The Crown court has taken the severity of the crimes into account before deciding the prison terms, ICC should take note and ACT accordingly!

  • DrAtharAbbas on December 20, 2011, 23:32 GMT

    All of those people going against Amir, disagreeing with Mike Brearly and looking for punishment as if a crime agains the entire humanity was commited. ASK YOURSELF AND ANSWER TO YOURSELF, dont aswer me: Are you sure you are an angel from the sky and you have not adone anything against the law or against the ethics ever in your life. If the answer to yourself is not yes (which I do not expect anyone to say) then think again what you are saying and why you are saying it.

  • kmeh3 on December 20, 2011, 23:24 GMT

    mr deejay duff a question for your socalled stick to justice rule,if going by proofs how come john higgins was only sentenced 6 months and 50k for same crime with more clearer evidence, think before you speak.

  • Kreacher_Rocks on December 20, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    Sure, reduce ban and let him cheat again. The whole defence of "he is young, so he should be forgiven" is balderdash. The voting age in Pakistan is 18, so Pakistan as a nation feels that if a person reaches the age of 18 he knows what is right for his/her country. The age for issuing a person a driver's license in Pakistan is also 18, so if a person reaches the age of 18 he is deemed responsible enough towards life and property. I am sure for a team that is bound by religion, Amir is guilty of a sin in Islam's eyes. Irrespective of Amir's background he is culpable from several points of view: his country trusted him, and he failed it. For those who feel the punishment should be lenient, he is getting off fairly easy. Even by the time his ban ends he is going to be just 23-24: young enough to resume his career, provided his country trusts him to not be involved in fixing again. Contrast this with Jadeja's case, where a 5-year ban on insufficient evidence was overturned too late.

  • Tom_Bowler on December 20, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    Eloquent comments from Deejay Duff. The measured opinions of JM Brearley (Test cricketer, international captain, published author, president of the MCC, holder of numerous degrees) clearly carry less weight than the view of how things "seemed" to some anonymous bloke on the internet.

  • ToTellUTheTruth on December 20, 2011, 20:44 GMT

    @DeejayDuff...you nailed it on the head. Can't believe why so many people are after the "Innocence" of this guy? Nothing I read so far, convinces me that he was innocent. Far from it. Enough with this stupidity with him being "young" and "pressure". Are you kidding me? Look at all the recent news and you know that this so called "young" man has been active much before he came forward.

    ICC is very lenient. Ban such players for life and get rid of this stigma. About time I say.

  • Pak_Cricket_fan on December 20, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    Aamir should definitely get a second chance. He did make a mistake but he accepted it, which is very brave thing to do, not everybody can admit his/her mistake. Making a mistake once should be pardoned if the person is SORRY. I think Aamir should come back to international cricket as soon as he finished his jail term and we ALLLLLL should accept him. It's very very hard to find a GREAT talent like Mohammad Aamir. I can't wait to see you back in action Aamir, come back soon... we all love you.......

  • gunnerr4life on December 20, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    He's just sentenced for six months by the crown court and that's alright . But the ban imposed by the ICC is ridiculous ... 5 years ban is too much for a minor ( He was a minor at the time he committed the crime ) !! I really have no issue with the bans of Asif and Butt but this lad surely deserves a less severe punishment .. let's say 2 years ban is more than enough for him !

  • on December 20, 2011, 19:24 GMT

    @ Mr. Ian Charles, I Agree with you. Rules are Rules and they are meant to be followed.Cricket does not stop by dropping out few players no matter how talented they are. Cheaters should be made an example so that others don't commit it. It really hurts when we saw our countrymen and so called heroes were found guilty.Pak is doing well even without them.

  • on December 20, 2011, 19:23 GMT

    Too little too late... really missing Amir... A crime is a crime but as the true lover of fast bowling i really wish he was given another chance :(

  • on December 20, 2011, 19:22 GMT

    pls print this....Brearley is looking at this thro9ugh rose tinted glasses...what proof does this noted liberal have that amir was put "under unbearable pressure"...its seemed to me all along that amir was a very willing accomplice, and all the happy pictures of him and butt and asif would colloborate that. dont forget he misled the ICC in dubai....he didnt own up until a year plus had passed, and his family still shamelessly protest his innocence. This was a kid bought up in a religious environment taught right from wrong, who was chosen out of millions and millions of other cricket playing boys to represent his country, travel to other countries , enjoy hospitality at 5 star hotels...yet evidently this wasnt enough for him. yet some say he was scared to lose his place in team...oh really id say what he was doing on the pitch made it impossible for him to be dropped..I had to choke when i read naeem hussains comment "make Amir an ambassador against corruption in sports" laughable!!

  • on December 20, 2011, 19:05 GMT

    "Uninterested in financial gain" - I find that hard to believe. If it is true it would be even more shocking for a fan like me.

    Having said that, Amir should be given a second chance especially for taking the higher road in comparison to his co-offenders! He is a terrific young bowler and Pakistan has had a steady supply of terrific talents like him - lucky for them. Now they need good mentors for these guys to stay on the right course. Hats off to Umar gul for staying away from such issues. He must be the most under rated and under valued bowler from Pakistan.

    Imagine if India had lost Zaheer khan and Ishant to indiscretions like such - We would be opening our bowling attack in Melbourne with Praveen kumar and Vinay kumar! That's a funny thought!

  • asterix.gaul on December 20, 2011, 17:57 GMT

    I'd like the audio and/or the transcript of Brearley's talk. He is an intelligent man, to put it mildly.

  • on December 20, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    i agreed we want him back it was amazing when he useed to bowl =) his love of the game and the joy with which he bowled was exceptional and motivating for even the crowds to watxh

  • naeemhussain on December 20, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    I agreed. This gesture could make Amir an ambassador against corruption in sports.

  • on December 20, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    but then again if he is treated leniently what about another 18 yr old coming inn and doing the same i know what brearly is trying to say but its a tough one for the ICC i really do want him back playing but i guess you have to be accountable for your actions ....

  • on December 20, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    Amir should be given a chance, he was very young and could have easily been misled by his two corrupt teammates. Also, he admitted his guilt, I would say, reduce his ban to three years and don't wreck his career.

  • cric4life88 on December 20, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    I see that many are with the suggestion and few are against it. I also see that people have asked cricinfo to make a poll, but that wouldn't be enough for both sides (those who want him to be punished and those who want to give him 2nd chance). All I could say is when Amir comes back even at the age of 25 or 26 he will take the world by storm. He has one of the most accurate bowling action, a very efficient run-up, good jump, nice spine balance and good enough follow through. When he comes back, trust me guys he is not getting injured like Ishant does and did in past. He will be a threat even at the age of 30. I wish him well, this is the most important phase of his career (reinforcement).

  • Srini_Indian on December 20, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    Fixers should be punished, Amir should be no exception. It should serve as a lesson for the kids that doesn't matter how much talent you have, integrity of the sport is not to be compromised

  • El_Toro_Loco on December 20, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    Agreed with Brearley, take an example of Michael Vick (The NFL quarterback, now plays for Philadelphia Eagles) exceptional talent, was convicted for illegal dog fighting went to jail for two years for the crime, released & reinstated by NFL. Now he's even better player than before. Cricketing world needs such a unique talent in the form of Amir, especially in fast bowling department which is now seems like a dying art. I wish Amir to learn his lesson & re-instated back to play cricket on int'l level within next two years...Ciao

  • on December 20, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    agreed... one thing i can say is when i was 18 i thought i knew everything... i dont think at that age you think about consequences... no excuse for doing something wrong just my opnion... and for those who suggest he got treated lightly as he got the lowest sentence... i think it was rather that he admitted his crime... Brealey is not talking about the sentence i feel but more on the 5 year ban... if the law courts can judge that the 3 sentences should be different why not the ICC?

  • on December 20, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    if someone brings bad name to his country that is his fault not the loss of Pakistan cricket .we have a lot of amirs.....Time proved without having these bowlers,Pakistan has Junaid Khan,Aziz and so many others...

  • Raeesani on December 20, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    Bearley you are right...i think six month imprisonment is enough ICC should get free him from five years ban atleast he is young and other greedy players trapped him in this sin..

  • on December 20, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    Nutcutlet puts it spot on...he can help spread awareness among other young players...and everyone gets a second chance in life, why not in cricket?

  • InnocentGuy on December 20, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    Oh come on! It's just 6 months! It's not even a prison in its proper sense - it's just a correctional institute. And it's already almost 2 months. He should be out by summer next year.

  • BroccoliPower on December 20, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    I think Brearly is absolutely right. But, let him be incarcerated for the whole 6 months that he deserves for doing what is wrong. He was 18, not a toddler, therefore he knew he was doing the wrong thing, no matter how much he was pressured into doing it. There should be an anonymous way to blow the whistle for cricketers with no consequence to their careers. Further more on Aamir himself, when he walks through that door in his jump suit in chains he will have his whole life flashing in front of him, possibly making him never do the things he did, again. May it be 6 years or 6 months, regardless of the time he spends in jail the very fact that he did spend in jail will suffice. Anyhow i think he should spend 3 more years educating himself and the public of Pakistan conducting interviews and TV appearances showing the public of the consequences of fixing. Then he can come back into cricket when he is a mature 21.

  • chinmoy_dash on December 20, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    I think Mr. Brearly is spot on in his observations.Young players when they come along particularly from a country like Pakistan have a lot of pressure.They are most of the time financially weak and come from a orthodox background.Besides I think Amir in my view was trapped in this nexus and not knowing what to do he accepted the bait. Besides being new in the system he would have thought this to be order of the day. It was only after he was caught he would have known the gravity of his crime.He definitely deserves a second chance.

  • on December 20, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    We are not focusing on the bigger problem. Players who are manipulated by the bookies or other entities. This is like, in the cocaine metaphor, dealing with the junkies. We really need to focus on the dealers, smugglers and producers in the pipeline. Our society makes gambling legal. At least drug consumption is illegal. Then we do not address the negative aspect of gambling. We let the whales go by, while snipe the small fishes and think we are fixing the problem.

    Lack of education, care of the society for the lesser educated and socially incompetent in the international cricket circuit also are major issue. Lets not forget, when certain countries are isolated out of international competition, is blatant discrimination in cricket.

    This kind of patch work is not going to stop the Kronje, Azharuddin and Amir. They are just road kills, while the real gamblers are shadowless and invisible, if not invincible.

  • on December 20, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    if this was a indian player everyone would say ban him now hes a pakistani player he deserves a second chance

  • manan_aslam on December 20, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    I do agree whith him. As he said not All truth is said. Amir is good bowler and i think only punishing him would not be an answer.

  • malepas on December 20, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    Yes, a voice of sanity by Mike and should be listened to instead of self loathing haters like Bottham,,anybody can see how easy it was to entangled in such a conspiracy headed by his own captain and other most senior bowler,,yes he was an adult but how much he knew about such tactics been employed by a very powerful betting syndicates which are still at large,,to be caught up in such way and the glittering career this kid had in front of him,,everybody who loves cricket beyond bounderies, would want to see this amazing talent on the field rather then being wasted elsewhere. I think as most of other writers said,,he should be used to prevent cruption in cricket to youth and should be allowed to play cricket once he released from prison after giving him about 6 months for lectures/training.

  • on December 20, 2011, 15:09 GMT

    Mike Brearley is the only captain since I have been following international cricket since late 1960s who was worthy of a place in the team purely based on captaincy skills. I think he has a masters in Psycology which has helped him to be a great motivator of other teams. He was recalled purely to captain the team when Engalnd fell 1-0 behind in the famous 1981 Ashes series. We all know what transpired as a result and how Ian Botham who was down and out having failed as a captain/player suddenly rose from the ruins to help England win the series 3-1. We should all respect his views.

  • Wolfpac on December 20, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    100% agree with Brearely..aamir should be pardoned and given a chance

  • on December 20, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    Couldn't agree more with Mike. He understands not only cricket, but human psychology; more importantly the psychology of cricketers and of people who surround them. Mike, you were my hero when you played cricket, and captained England. You are still my hero. I salute you! BTW, where were you when the trial was going on. I mean, had you said these things about Aamir then, probably the judges (and the ICC) would have taken a lenient view. Maybe??

  • Charlie101 on December 20, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    A number of jockeys / trainers have been banned from racing for between 2 years and 12 years this week but have not been prosecuted and therefore not imprisoned. I feel that Amir , Asif and Butt have been banned as well as imprisoned and their crime is exactly the same as the jockeys / trainers ( a betting scam ) . The cricketers punishment is very harsh indeed and I would like to see them free to play cricket when they leave prison , should any team want them.

  • YorkshirePudding on December 20, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    Mike Brearley makes a lot of sense, and I think both the ICC and British Courts have been quite leniant with regard to Amir, he could have got 12 months, the same as Asif but becuase of his guilty plea he received 6 months, and is probably due for parole in the next few weeks, I wouldnt be surpised to see him released at the start of Jan. Part of me thinks he shouldnt be allowed near a cricket pitch again, another part of me thinks that world cricket lost a great talent and he should be given the opportunity to redeem himself.

  • shillingsworth on December 20, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    He has already been treated leniently. The prison sentence reflected the guilty plea and his youth. In addition, the ICC only imposed a 5 year ban for an offence which, in other sports, would have been punishable with a life ban.

  • mn.abbasi on December 20, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    Thanks to (Mike brearley ) for having sympathetic wording for Mr.Amir but as well as the corruption of the Aamir concern there should be no concession. He made corruption and he deserve for punishment and he punished. He was playing for country therefore people loved him and he was the hero of Pakistani nation. Due to his corruption he insulted and disgraced Pakistan that is not bearable and for Pakistan we can scarify such a billions Aamir. He got respect/famous/ money due to Pakistan then why he did so.Pakistan gave him each and everything than why he disgraced Pakistan.

  • Nutcutlet on December 20, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    Mike Brearley is always worth listening to - and I agree, Amir should be regarded as a different case from the other two cynical criminals. Why? (1) Because he put his hands up and admitted guilt, thus saving the hard-pressed British taxpayer thousands of pounds (2) Although legally an adult, he was young, naive, easily led and just as easily manipulated by sophisticated and immoral contacts who cared not a jot for his good name/ role model potential - let alone his outstanding cricket ability (3) After being burned on this occasion, he should now be immune to any such attempts to corrupt him in future (4) If he would agree to act as an agent for the ICC or the PCB and commit himself to a series of talks, on television, speaking in his mother tongue in Pakistan warning and advising Pakistani youth of the dangers that brought him down, then he could do much good. That should reduce his ICC ban by, say, three years; it's called atonement and should be seriously considered.

  • BravoBravo on December 20, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    Mr. Mike Brearley, you are truly a gentleman of unmatched integrity and a great cricketer. I totally agree with you, this highly talented kid (Amir) definitely deserve a chance. I wish other 'men in power' will let him be pardoned and thus they will be adding a great talent to the game CRICKET.

  • on December 20, 2011, 14:14 GMT

    A Yes to "BREARLY" he should be given a second chance, he is so talented, and was so unlucky to get involved in such activity, and as said everybody deserves a second chance so does he. But lets see this cruel society accepts him or not..............

  • on December 20, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    Amir is undoubtedly an exceptional talent...cricket needs more talented and gifted players like him...giving him a second chance after his jail sentence might raise a few eyebrows among people...but it will all be for the greater goood

  • jibman on December 20, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    Definitely this young man deserve a second chance. He had enough of this punishment. We should always keep this thing in our mind How old was he when he committed this mistake?. Amir is a very talented bowler and we are already missing his exuberance.

  • on December 20, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    He was treated lightly Brearley, He was the one who committed the act and got the lowest sentence. What more do you want ,a Pardon?

  • nasir731 on December 20, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    Brearly is right.Aamir must be given chance.some of the players try to overreact.We are human and we mistake,what make difference between good and bad is that good man acept his/her mistakes and try to improve himself.So Aamir must be given chance otherwise it must be very unjust for most talentant cricketer we have ever witnessed.Any way ICC has become too bias.Thats very bad for game of cricket.Goodluck! Aamir

  • adnan_rifat84 on December 20, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    "TO DO THE MISTAKE IS NOT A MISTAKE BUT TO REPEAT THE MISTAKE IS A MISTAKE" must give him an other chance..we love u aamir always..miss to see u back in action

  • DaisonGarvasis on December 20, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    Agree with the Brearley - At least when he come back after doing his time, the 5 year ban should be lifted and he should be allowed to play. He made a mistake and he has done the time for it. And he is a kid. Dont penalize twice with the ban.

  • on December 20, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    not fair at all........ he should be punished more less. we miss you aamir and your bowling.......

  • sameeullah on December 20, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    @spence1324 I have a very basic question every one who thinks that aamir should be punished severely and who thinks he doesn't deserve a second chance.

    lets put our-self in his shoe and think how badly you would have want second chance? I think every one would have died for that second chance. I think he has got punishment what he have done.Now its time for us to give him second chance.....

  • on December 20, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    A BIG YES TO " BREARLY " ! He did mistake and admitted it. You need alot of courage and bravery to say "SORRY" to the cruel world. And he has shown it! . His fans would love it if his ban is reduced or lifted.

  • on December 20, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    Amir WORLD no1 bowler a great great Amir i m very very miss you you again comback in cricket I LOVE YOU

  • on December 20, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    u r right mike we have to give him 1st chance according to gandhi jee when someone accept their guilty we must forgive him so dat one nevr repeat this.............so give him a chance after his jail.........not after 5 yr its too long ..................

  • spence1324 on December 20, 2011, 11:01 GMT

    Lets pose a hyperufatical question in that he continues to play after his ban,would any team be happey to be playing against him or even accept a team with him in it?,me thinks not.

  • a_rahat on December 20, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    definitely he should be given a chance and the ban on him should be reduced to 1 or 2 years for the future of cricket. He's not only a real asset for Pakistan but also for the whole cricketing world.

  • sark on December 20, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    i think cricinfo should post a pol for amir, asing its users how many think he should be allowed to play after 6 months and how many think he should not be allowed.

  • Saqib_Sheraz on December 20, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    punishment can't clean the soul but education. He need proper education in meantime.

  • bharath74 on December 20, 2011, 10:21 GMT

    He should be treated leniently considering his age and the pressure he might have been subjected to participate in fixing.

  • WeeBee on December 20, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    A BIG YES TO " BREARLY " ! He did mistake and admitted it. You need alot of courage and bravery to say "SORRY" to the cruel world. And he has shown it! . His fans would love it if his ban is reduced or lifted. You cannot have Two "Wasim Akram" in same century. . . . .

  • on December 20, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    I wish he may play next WC.

  • stormy16 on December 20, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    Sad as it is and unfortunate as Amir was, the fact is he did the wrong thing at an international level and there is no way the treatment can be lenient. The game must be protected and there cannot be grey areas which allow players a way out after cheating. It should be a zero tolerence based if the game is to be kept as clean as possible and if your going to play for your country your responsible for your own actions. Sad to hear he is from a poor village and un-educated - a real cinderella story unfortunately gone wrong. He still has time for a lengthy career and some would argue that its not fair - to bring the game in to disrepute and still continue to be part of it in the future.

  • on December 20, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    I agree with Mr Bearly 110% .If a teenager stays out for like 5 years and spends 6 months in jail ur not doinghim or anybody any good imagine the people he will meet in jail

  • on December 20, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Even though Amir's ban is for 5 years, the question is, will he be able to make a comeback after all this??? They should clearly state and recomend the respective country to treat him as a clean option after the punishment is over. Its a 5 year ban, it should not become an end to his career.

  • A.Ghafoor on December 20, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    At a such young age , he was trapped in this controversy. If the ban is not lifted, he will be spoiled. So it will be fair to give him a chance as early as passable.

  • on December 20, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    Fully agree with Mike Brearley.Indeed the punishment meted out to the callow 19yr old Mohammed Amir is excessive,especially the 5 year ban on his playing career.The main culprits were Mohammed Asif and Salman Butt who led the impressionable Amir astray-those two should've been banned for life. My heart goes out to the awesomely talented Mohammed Amirwho should've been treated with more compassion,especially because he came clean and expressed remorse for his mistake.Surely the door of rehabilitation shouldn't be shut on the face of the exceptionally gifted youth.

  • Nuxxy on December 20, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    The key to this is Brearley's closing comments. He said: "Whistleblowing should become an absolute duty for everyone in the game." He's not against punishing corrupt players, but if you don't give a lenient sentence players who a) admit their guilt and b) work with authorities to bring the network down, then why should they work with you?Or put it this way - do you want people going Amir's route and admitting guilt or Butt and Asif's route and having expensive court cases? The level of punishment will always factor into the equation.

  • on December 20, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    Missing your bowling Amir, hopefully more people can give comments like this and his 5 years ban might be reduced to 2 or 3 years.

  • captian_buddy on December 20, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    @donda . Brearly is totally right. He's really young and then is from a small village and is also un-educated .Asif and Butt deserved it and should face it but Amir . . . .

  • Haleos on December 20, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    How much leniently should he be treated. It does not make sense. It just means if you are young u can commit crime and get away with it.

  • on December 20, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    Sorry, but I disagree entirely. The problem of match fixing or spot fixing will only be addressed if players found guilty of offences are punished for their actions. Yes, Amir is very young, but had nevertheless established himself in the Pakistan team due to his undoubted talent. That he was in the "wrong place at the wrong time" I have no doubt. That he was placed under enormous pressure by senior players is very likely, but at the end of the day he was involved for whatever reason and should therefore pay the penalty. He has already been shown leniency by the courts and was given a lesser sentence than others who were involved. I sincerely hope that he has learned his lesson and that he will return to the cricket fold once he has completed his punishment. Regrettably, the world we live in is full of dodgy characters, but I am afraid that his age does not excuse his actions.

    Ian

  • donda on December 20, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    Come on, finally some body went to jail for corruption and fixing in cricket. For once in life just admit that these cricketers need punishment and either the player is new or old. Fixing is fixing. PCB and ICC give briefing to both new and old players about fixing so Amir is not a kid and he knew what he is doing. I am happy that he went to jail and he will come out as a better person and live a better life there after. By the way 6 months is lenient considering this high profile case.

  • zain.ul.abideen on December 20, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Thank You Mr. Brearley for your kind words. If Amir is treated leniently then he needs to demonstrate that he is not only ashamed of his acts but also that he will actively participate in the fight against corruption.

  • khalid4eyes on December 20, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    I entirely agree with Mr Brearley that admission of guilt by a naive young player must be taken into account, how the system deals with him in the future. This betting scandal is very similar to how the snooker player John Higgins was sucked into a similar scam. John Higgins admitted guilt, was fined and banned for 6 months. He has been accepted back into the game, although as a player he is no where near what he once was. Punishment is designed to be corrective and if anyone guilty of a mistake, error of judgement, misdemeanor or in the worst sense, a crime, it should not mean death penalty. If the system does not give Amir a second chance then that will tantamount to giving his career a death penalty.

    Mr Qazi Khalid Ali

  • zapeta on December 20, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    Every Cricketer should know importance of playing for Country and people of any country grow up with Patriotic spirit. All Players are matured enough when they get selected to the national side.

  • on December 20, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    He is teen ager and was also very young to international cricket.......so it is on PCB now to decied that he should play for pakistan after the punishment or not???? but how?? thay r very afraid of ICC they r not selecting Wahab riaz and kamran as well....Pcb must play on front foot and aggresively..

  • on December 20, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    I think ICC should give him a concession and at-least allow him to play domestic and first class cricket. I knew how bad these gamblers are they are mafia once they trap someone they don't allow them to freed up easily they used all sort techtics. Aamir is culprit and I think he bared all the consequences now atleast give him a chance to restart his life with dignity.

  • on December 20, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    I agree. He was forced into this type of action. He should've been given a second chance. He learned his lesson when this became/is a very serious deal.

  • on December 20, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    He is a young lad, who is still coming up in terms with international cricket.. So, when we commits a mistake and genuinely apologizes for it, why don't he be given a warning and allowed to continue his game, may under proper supervision.. Good fast bowlers are a rarity these days and international cricket cannot afford to lose genuine talent like Amir..

  • landl47 on December 20, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    Brearley, as always, speaks with wisdom and compassion. His ability to assess correctly the feelings of others was his greatest strength as a captain and he was one of the best captains the game has known. I hope and trust Amir has realised what a destructive path he was on and will go on to fulfill his potential as a great bowler and representative for Pakistan.

  • Yolk_Eater on December 20, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    I think Brearly is totally right. Really, do we really think that an 18 year old could have the brains to deal with all this stuff? I don't think so. I still look back to when I was 18 and remember how foolish I was. I am glad that someone spoke up about this issue, I had been waiting for a long time.

  • drnaveed on December 20, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    i think , yes amir should be given a second and last chance, but not the other two.

  • rohanbala on December 20, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    One cannot entirely agree with the views of the former England Captain Mike Brearley on the issue of showing leniency to Mohd. Amir. A crime is a crime, whether committed by an youngster or an adult. Would it not be an encouragement to young players that they will be given a second chance (in the event of being caught) and embolden them to fix matches? The punishment to those involved in match fixing should be severe to the extent that they regret it for the rest of their lives.

  • on December 20, 2011, 5:37 GMT

    who cares now, once sentenced then its history.

  • crickprof on December 20, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    nice article and excellent suggestions.....

  • on December 20, 2011, 5:09 GMT

    yes.....amir should be given a second chance...and his ban should be reduced!!

  • on December 20, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    I totally agree with Mike. Well said "Deterrent and retributive justice tempered with mercy and discrimination is vital in sentencing and punishing." Just like any other crimes, we shouldn't just punish people but also try to rehabilitate them. Punishment without rehabilitation only leads to more crimes and hard core criminals

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  • on December 20, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    I totally agree with Mike. Well said "Deterrent and retributive justice tempered with mercy and discrimination is vital in sentencing and punishing." Just like any other crimes, we shouldn't just punish people but also try to rehabilitate them. Punishment without rehabilitation only leads to more crimes and hard core criminals

  • on December 20, 2011, 5:09 GMT

    yes.....amir should be given a second chance...and his ban should be reduced!!

  • crickprof on December 20, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    nice article and excellent suggestions.....

  • on December 20, 2011, 5:37 GMT

    who cares now, once sentenced then its history.

  • rohanbala on December 20, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    One cannot entirely agree with the views of the former England Captain Mike Brearley on the issue of showing leniency to Mohd. Amir. A crime is a crime, whether committed by an youngster or an adult. Would it not be an encouragement to young players that they will be given a second chance (in the event of being caught) and embolden them to fix matches? The punishment to those involved in match fixing should be severe to the extent that they regret it for the rest of their lives.

  • drnaveed on December 20, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    i think , yes amir should be given a second and last chance, but not the other two.

  • Yolk_Eater on December 20, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    I think Brearly is totally right. Really, do we really think that an 18 year old could have the brains to deal with all this stuff? I don't think so. I still look back to when I was 18 and remember how foolish I was. I am glad that someone spoke up about this issue, I had been waiting for a long time.

  • landl47 on December 20, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    Brearley, as always, speaks with wisdom and compassion. His ability to assess correctly the feelings of others was his greatest strength as a captain and he was one of the best captains the game has known. I hope and trust Amir has realised what a destructive path he was on and will go on to fulfill his potential as a great bowler and representative for Pakistan.

  • on December 20, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    He is a young lad, who is still coming up in terms with international cricket.. So, when we commits a mistake and genuinely apologizes for it, why don't he be given a warning and allowed to continue his game, may under proper supervision.. Good fast bowlers are a rarity these days and international cricket cannot afford to lose genuine talent like Amir..

  • on December 20, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    I agree. He was forced into this type of action. He should've been given a second chance. He learned his lesson when this became/is a very serious deal.