Shafqat Rana, Pakistan's associate manager, has said that Mohammad Amir's age should have no bearing on possible punishment if the spot-fixing charges leveled against the 18-year old seamer are proved to be true.
"Even if he is so young, it doesn't matter," Rana said ahead of Pakistan's second Twenty20 against England in Cardiff. "They [cricket fans] want everything in the best spirit of the game. I think it should be the same with everybody, if he breaks the law."
Rana's remarks came a day after ICC chief Haroon Lorgat was quoted as saying of Amir's case, "In my own honest personal view, yes I would think age would come into account in these matters. But that is something the independent tribunal will have to decide upon."
Amir is the youngest of the three Pakistan players suspended by the ICC following the NOTW sting operation centred around spot-fixing. Speaking in Cardiff ahead of the second game, England allrounder Stuart Broad said age should be no excuse in dealing with the guilty since the ICC provided adequate education on cricket corruption. "With the amount of books I've got from the ICC at home, full of information, there's certainly no excuse as players," Broad said.
"As soon as you come into the England team, the ICC gets hold of you; you're put through this video, which is very watchable, very clear - it takes you back to when you were five or six, that's how clear it is. It outlines everything you're not allowed to do, everything you are allowed to do."
Broad's opinions were echoed by Nasser Hussain, the former England captain. "If it was a first offence maybe we need to be lenient," Hussain wrote of Amir's case in the Daily Mail, "but if there have been other alleged misdemeanours then the game needs to be very tough with him, too. He is old enough to know right from wrong."
Amir will be facing scrutiny not only from the ICC's tribunal but also Pakistan's tax authorities who will reportedly probe the finances of Pakistan's cricketers, a move endorsed by both Rana and limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi. "It was there in their (the government's) mind before we came over," Rana said about the tax probe. "I think it's a good thing, it will open things out so they (the players) will be very careful."