Sir Ronnie Flanagan defends decision to allow Amir to make domestic comeback

"He was very co-operative with us and has assisted us in the education programme"

“He was very co-operative with us and has assisted us in the education programme”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Sir Ronnie Flanagan, who is the head of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption unit, has defended his decision to allow Pakistan left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir to make his domestic comeback.

Amir was banned for five years after being indicted in a spot-fixing scandal during a Test match against England in 2010.

Even though Amir will not be permitted to play international cricket until September, the ICC allowed him to start playing domestic cricket again since he has shown a high level of remorse.

In order to get his career off the ground once again, Amir signed with Karachi-based Omar Associates and will start playing Grade 2 cricket from March 9.

“The process I went through and the decision I arrived at, I’m certain does not set any improper precedent for others,” Flanagan said. “I fully respect the views of those who say that shouldn’t have happened. Personally, I’m content in conducting all of those considerations that it was right.

“I looked at all these things carefully, I interviewed Amir several times. I had interviewed him in the past and I am certainly satisfied that he met all those sorts of conditions that I’ve referred to – that he fully admitted his part and indeed had told us fully what he knew.

“He was very co-operative with us and has assisted us in the education programme. I think it is a powerful message.

“It is one thing for international sports people to hear a message from a retired cop, telling them what they shouldn’t do and what they should be careful of.

“I think it is altogether another thing getting that message from someone who had been an international player who did fall from grace, who is saying ‘please don’t do what I did, please don’t succumb in the way that I did’.

“(In the anti-corruption videos) he describes how when he won his first cap he slept all night in his shirt representing his country the night before it. What it meant to him and his family, to fall from grace, I think is a very powerful message. So I am absolutely comfortable.”

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