Spot-fixing April 5, 2012

Mohammad Amir features in ACSU's educational video


Mohammad Amir, the Pakistan fast-bowler banned from competitive cricket for five years for his part in the spot-fixing scandal of the 2010 Lord's Test, has appeared in an educational video on behalf of the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).

In the five-minute video, Amir speaks about his life after being trapped by the illegal betting mafia, his embarrassment at lying to the ICC during its Qatar hearings and his three months in a British prison. Amir recounts his career, coming into the Pakistan team, and the Lord's Test, of which he says, "I took six wickets but I did something very bad… after a couple of hours, my life is changed, my life is ruined because of two no balls." It is understood the Amir video has also been shown to players from the various IPL teams in the lead-up to the event, which began on Wednesday.

Amir said he had wanted to confess to the ICC anti-corruption tribunal during their hearings in Qatar last January, but had been unable to do so. In the video, he says, "I always knew this was cheating cricket but I was under pressure. But I accept my mistake. When I was in the ICC hearing, I knew I was totally embarrassed because I knew I am lying. I wanted to tell the truth but I didn't have courage."

He said had bowled the no-balls at Lord's because, "some senior players put me under pressure. I didn't want to. One day I was on the top and the next day everyone was calling me cheater and fixer. You don't have words to explain that." The spot-fixing episode, he said, had been an act of entrapment but accepted his mistake of becoming a part of it. He said he was tricked into spot-fixing and he was not aware of the the player-agent Mazhar Majeed's intentions.

When he found himself facing a criminal trial, Amir said he had decided to tell the truth. The spot-fixing exercise was exposed by a sting operation arranged by the now defunct UK Sunday tabloid, the News Of the World. Amir who will turn 20 on April 13, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat at gambling and did not stand trial in London. He was sentenced to six months in jail and in the video says, "When the police put me in handcuffs I was literally crying and I was thinking I am not going to play cricket ever again."

His parting message in the video is, "Prison is a bad place for everyone. Don't make the mistakes which I did. I was stupid I didn't tell anybody because I didn't have coverage...If someone comes to you and asks you to do those kind of things, go straight to ICC team and team management they can help you."

Since his release after serving half of his six-month custodial sentence in England, Amir has been in contact with the ICC and PCB for an educational and rehabilitation program, which "remains confidential".

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo last month, the ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat had suggested the idea of Amir featuring in videos to point out the perils of corruption as part of educating young cricketers. "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,' Lorgat said.

In a televised interview with former England captain Michael Atherton last month, Aamer said his friendship with former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt was betrayed as it was Butt who had lured him into spot-fixing. Amir is currently living in Lahore, and serving his five-year ban which will run till 2015. There is no suggestion that Amir's appearance in the ACSU video will lead to a reduction of his ban.

There has been a lot of sympathy for Amir largely due to his age. Former captain Ramiz Raja met the bowler last week said, "the lad is obviously shaken badly by the gravity of events." The PCB at the moment is keen to take care of the bowler but is yet to launch any rehabilitation program officially; it is understood the ICC is supporting the PCB in the process. An ICC spokesman told ESPNcricinfo: "The ICC has been in contact with Amir and the PCB about appropriate education and rehabilitation at an appropriate time, the details of which remain confidential."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • FIDA on April 8, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    so many time i send my requests through this platform i request once again that all the fans of cricket should back amir because of his age, and because of his abililites we want to see him back in action,,, and amir sometime it happens we all do mistakes but this is important to learn by those mistakes and determine not to revise the same mistakes again,,, i request once again PCB and THe I C C to please give him another chance,,, Please decrease his Time of punishment,,,, He already got a very good lesson,,,, and even he is an expample for the Rest of the players,,,,,,

  • Wicky on April 6, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    @ALL PAK CRIC N AMIR HATRS,IT z 4 ur kind informatn that its naturall 4 all us to be repentng when caught red handed,so amir z no exception,MIND IT THT HE Z A KID N DESERVS 2nd chance in evry posible way.NO BODY Z INNOCENT IN THIS AS TO ERR Z HUMAN@RankPace,U NEED NOT TO Worry about our pace attack as we r going to find some vry soon,btw we r still betr than ind,bang,lolz.EVEN WITH THIS MEAGRE ATACK WE CAN Teach any team a lesson on most pitchs

  • Sarfin on April 6, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    Some of my friends here seem to do no mistakes or crime in life. They should be canonized as saint as soon as possible. My earnest request to them- please appeal for a life long punishment whenever you commit any wrong.

  • Malti on April 6, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    I fully agree with samincolumbia , that amir is only sorry because he was finally caught red handed. was he sorry when he was doing it and not caught?

  • RankPace on April 6, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    I agree with samincolumbia . Being sorry after being caught red handed means nothing to me. You get him back and he will continue his old ways. better give opportunities to some other younsters so that they may be faithful to the country and to the game.

  • RankPace on April 6, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    In the last 2 years pakistans growth in the fast bowling department has been serverly hampered because they have shown a complete inablity to move beyond the Amir episode. Riaz and Gul have been dissapointing but pakistan do not seem in a hurry to find better fast bowlers as if they are sure that they will get Amir back in a few months. Not good for pakistans cricket development, more particularly the fast bowlers. i think it can be safely said that presently pakistans fast bowlers are the worst in the world. it is the spin of Ajmal that has saved them for the time being but this will not go on forever. Ultimately pakistan will go the sri lanka way.

  • Arshad on April 6, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    The appearance in the video of this thief will do more harm to the budding cricketers than good. They would start believing that even they would become 'fallen heroes' like this thief. The ICC is turning him into a hero. He should be thrown into oblivion!!

  • Rahul on April 6, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    His ban should be reduced an year is enough he is already in process of completing 6 months..seeing his tender age and his involvement in the fixing...he has had enough of punishment.In the past also players like warne,gibbs,mark waugh were given another chance after their involvement in match fixing after being banned and fined for shorter duration.

  • Sundarraman on April 6, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    The ban should not be reduced, however this man should be given another chance. He deserves it but only after he serves his full ban.

    If he is able to regain his lost touch after 2015, he will be a star for sure!

  • Saqib on April 5, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    He should honor his punishment/ban and then should be open for selection. I think it would be fair. Those who thinks he should never be considered, in my opinion, are folks who do not believe in system of justice (in this case punishment). No one is GOD here. People makes mistake and a number of times they don't even get punishment for that. He at least is getting some.

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