‘I think Amir should get permission to play first-class cricket’, says Najam Sethi

Image courtesy of: EuroSport

Amir may find himself playing first-class cricket in January

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi has announced that he is confident the International Cricket Council (ICC) will allow disgraced pace bowler Mohammad Amir to start playing first-class cricket by January 2014.

Amir, along with former captain Salman Butt and fellow pace bowler Mohammad Asif, received a five-year ban after being found guilty of spot-fixing during a Test match against England at Lord’s in 2010.

All three players were also slapped with prison sentences for their crimes.

The ICC announced that Amir’s case will be reviewed after the PCB requested that the 21-year-old be allowed to play first-class cricket and train at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

“We hope good news will come in January,” Sethi said. “I think Aamer should get permission to play first-class cricket because he has served four of the five-year ban.”

Sethi added that he believes Amir’s ban was extremely harsh, especially since he pleaded guilty, unlike Butt and Asif, who actually appealed against their bans before finally admitting to their crimes.

“He is a very young cricketer and there is big support and sympathy for him,” Sethi said.

Amir, who was just 18 at the time of the spot-fixing scandal, stated that he desperate to start playing competitive cricket again.

“I am desperate to return to the game I love and hope to get some relaxation in the ban,” Amir told AFP.

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