Banned Pakistani bowler seeks ICC's nod on county career

Ata-ur-Rehman, the former Pakistan fast bowler, is planning to appeal to the ICC to let him resume his career as a club professional in England.
Rehman, 30, was one of those implicated in Pakistan's controversial match-fixing inquiry five years ago - he admitted to lying under oath after initial statements - and has been serving a life ban from the game handed him by the ICC.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Rehman now claims that he has been cleared by a judge. "I am a British citizen now," he clarified. "But I am not getting any contract from any club because they say I must get clearance from the ICC." For its part, the ICC maintains that permission must be granted by the England and Wales Cricket Board since it governs English county cricket.

In 2000, Rehman was called upon by Justice Malik Qayyum and asked to testify in regard to the allegations against him. Rehman initially told the court that Wasim Akram, his former team-mate, had given him £942 to under-perform in a one-day international in New Zealand in March 1994; subsequently, he withdrew his testimony and admitted to perjury in an affidavit signed in London.

Akram, fined for failing to co-operate with the inquiry, had no action taken against him as far as the scandal is concerned. It was advocated by Justice Qayyum, however, that he never be allowed to captain his country again.

Rehman, only 17 when he made his debut for Pakistan in England in 1992, played 13 Tests and 30 one-dayers. He has turned up for the English club Blackburn Northern in the past as well. He is one of five players to receive life bans as a result of match-fixing investigations, the others being Salim Malik, a former Pakistan captain, India's Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Sharma, and the late Hansie Cronje, perhaps the most controversial cricketer of them all.