Image courtesy of: NDTV
Amir does not want to see any other youngster fall into the same trap he did
Disgraced Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Amir has voiced his agreement with India batting great Rahul Dravid’s stance on making match-fixing a criminal offence in order to oust it from the sport once and for all.
In an exclusive interview with Geo Super, Amir noted that the International Cricket Council (ICC) had to adopt tougher measures and punishments in order to combat the spreading disease.
“I don’t know what powers or authority the ICC has but definitely it needs to make fixing of matches a criminal offence and there should be jail sentences for those involved in this racket,” Amir said.
Amir, who received a five-year ban for his involvement in a match-fixing scandal in 2010, added that the ICC should work closely with local police and “keep track of all calls made and received on phones of players”.
“It can be termed as invasion of privacy but the biggest thing they must do is to keep track of all calls made and received on phones of players and officials involved in a bilateral series or tournament,” Amir said. “The ICC must keep track and monitor numbers of all potential and known bookmakers who lure players into the fixing racket. And anyone found guilty must face criminal charges. I don’t think just having education and awareness programmes about anti-corruption is enough to deter such things.”
The 21-year-old has taken on a more hardline stance on match-fixing as he believes education programs and workshops will only do so much.
“Someone who has made up his mind to do something wrong will not be affected by these programs,” he said. “The point is that if players know anyone who tries to corrupt them will face proper criminal charges they will be quick to report any approach or offer or unusual activity to the ICC anti-corruption and security unit officers or their team management.”
Amir wants to see match-fixing be made into a criminal offence as he does not want another youngster to find themselves in his shoes.
“One day I was creating a world record and next day I was facing spot fixing charges,” Amir said. “I have been through tough times and have learnt from them.
“The biggest lesson has been that there is enough legal money to be made from cricket and it is best for players to avoid negative and bad company. I would advise all young players to stay away from corruption because in the end if they remain honest and they are good players they will still earn good money.”
The young pace bowler also thanked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for trying to convince the ICC to allow him to use their facilities before eventually making his international comeback in 2015.
“I know I need just two months to get back into my rhythm and I know I can still play for 10 to 12 years for Pakistan whenever the chance comes my way,” he said. “This time I want to come out as a better human being and a more honest cricketer.”