ICC news March 21, 2012

Amir must focus on rehabilitation - Lorgat


Mohammad Amir must go through a process of rehabilitation, including educating himself and others about the perils of corruption, and not focus on the reduction of the ban imposed on him by an ICC tribunal for his involvement in spot-fixing, the ICC chief Haroon Lorgat has said. Lorgat also said the ICC rules do not allow for a reduction of the five-year ban and stressed the importance of respecting the verdict the independent tribunal had reached.

In his first statement after returning to Pakistan from England on February 26, Amir had said he would not request the ICC to reduce his ban, which runs until 2015. Lorgat said Amir should start the rehabilitation process by doing the right things.

"I would prefer that the starting point should not be about whether we [ICC] could reduce the sentence," Lorgat told ESPNcricinfo in Mumbai, en route to Sri Lanka where he will release the first batch of tickets for the ICC World Twenty20. "Let that [the reduction of the ban] be the end result of a process of rehabilitation since he has now come clean, if that is indeed the case. Part of the sanction he received from the ICC tribunal was to educate himself and for him to educate others. So let us do all the necessary building blocks before we get to a point where anyone could ask, 'Does he now deserve a review?'"

Amir was released from custody after serving half of his six-month sentence for his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal during the Lord's Test in 2010. The Crown Prosecution Service had brought charges against Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif under conspiracy to accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat at gambling after a sting operation carried out by the now defunct News Of the World. Butt and Asif had pleaded not guilty in court but were found guilty in November 2011; Amir pleaded guilty to the charges and did not stand trial. Amir, however, had pleaded not guilty before the ICC's tribunal in Doha in February 2011.

Life could have been different and perhaps easier for Amir, Lorgat said, had he pleaded guilty in front of the ICC tribunal in Doha. Amir had maintained he was innocent at the time. The three-man tribunal - comprising Michael Beloff QC, Sharad Rao and Justice Albie Sachs - banned Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Amir for ten, seven and five years respectively, after finding them guilty of spot-fixing. Amir's reaction to that decision was that he would appeal the ban in the Court of Arbitration of Sports in Switzerland. He later decided not to appeal.

"I find it very unfortunate for Mohammad Amir. We did provide him with lots of opportunities," Lorgat said, when asked if he was disappointed Amir did not confess in Doha. "The tribunal might have looked at it differently and who knows what decision they could have come to on sanction. It could have been a different story. I am sad for him."

In an interview on Sky TV after his release from custody, Amir said he had been tricked into bowling no-balls to order during the Lord's Test by his agent Mazhar Majeed and his captain Salman Butt. He said he did not "have the courage" to admit his guilt to the ICC tribunal.

Lorgat's advice for Amir was to not to give up and, "do all the right things." "Come into the education process and don't just give up the game," Lorgat said. "Retain your faith in the future. He must be prepared to tell his story and explain to others what they need to be careful of."

Lorgat felt the ICC, the PCB and Amir, and all other stakeholders, should work together to try and ensure no other player falls prey to corruption. He said Amir could talk, over video, to the players during the ICC Under-19 World Cup to be held in Australia later this year. "If Mohammad Amir stands up and delivers a message of caution about this murky world, people are going to sit up and listen. That is one example of rehabilitation."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 24, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    Let him play..Who among us has never done anything wrong? I still wonder that there was a law that a person cannot be unished twice for the same crime. Why 2 punishments? one jail and the other ban, it should be one of them and since he has served jail time, the other one should be rescinded altogether.

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    Amir must deserve chance that he should come back in cricket pakistan never build another bowler like amir

  • Riz on March 23, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    why should he be allowed back? he CHEATED full stop. He did not think twice when he put on the shirt of pakistan. Letting him play will send out message to others that its ok to cheat! He should not be allowed to return surely Pakistan has more bowlers out there who can step up and take the chance. So many people go to watch Pakistan play, we pay allot to go to games and stress on results, these cheats do not care about hopes and prayers of onlookers, they only want MONEY. Hence Ban them for life. I use to be proud to see Amir bowling, not anymore. i personally would never want to see him play for pakistan again. Can he be trusted?

  • Cricket on March 23, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    All those waiting for the second coming of Amir, Please take a look at the first class stats of Sadaf Hussain, Rahat Ali & Mohd.Talha. These boys are taking wickets by the heaps. they average 18, 19 & 22 respectively. They surely deserve a decent opportunity at the higest level. Also Umar Gul who has a fist class average of 29 deserves to be dumped urgently. He has always dissapointed against stronger teams even though he got all the opportunities in the last 2 years. W.Riaz should not even be discussed. Start looking forward if you want to improve the standards in international level. Dont bother too much about cheaters otherwise they get carried away and thnk that they are irreplaceable.

  • Cricket on March 23, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    This hype of Amir is getting too much. If this hype continues then players like Sadaf Hussain, Rahat Ali & Mohd.Talha will never get a first chance. Why in the world do you want to give second chance to cheaters when there are better players waiting for their first opportunity.

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2012, 21:39 GMT

    No crime in the world deserves two punishments In USA many baseball or football players were ban or jailed because of Rape and Killing Charges and they were back on field after serving jail or Ban. Cricket is his bread and butter. at least give him a chance to prove himself by giving him the opportunity to Play league or Club Cricket or Even Domestic

  • adnan on March 22, 2012, 21:13 GMT

    I would like to thanks to all those Indian fans specially Rahul Dravid who also want Aamir back to cricket world, some former English players for showing some sympathy for Aamir and thanks to all those people who belongs to any country and supporting Aamir. We all must help and support those who did some mistakes and accept them and feel guilty, we must not let them down, being a human being we must show some humanity. I know Aamir will not let every body down who are now supporting him. If ICC not reducing his ban for International cricket then they should at least let him play some domestic cricket.

  • Rakesh on March 22, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    His ban should be increased to make an example. He is not a kid to get tricked into doing something like what he has done. The trio has played this holier than thou approach for too long.

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    I understand ICC's stance. But cricket can not afford to lose a talent such as Amir. He not only develops interest in the game, players like him sell cricket all over the world. Besides, the message has already been delivered. If you fix you are gone. The kid has already seen prison. There is no harm in reducing the ban in my opinion as it'll do more for world cricket.

  • Sakthi on March 22, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    @Syed Naveed Ali : If that the case then Amir might have got life ban. But we Indians love pakistan blowers. We have a huge fan following for Lala and other in india. By the way what ever great blower you produce we always get the greatest batsmen to take it over, in every era.

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