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Banned Amir’s Surrey league stint irks ICC

Associated Press

Posted: Jun 09, 2011 at 0319 hrs IST
      

London: Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Amir is being investigated by the ICC after playing in a minor English league match last week despite being banned from the sport on corruption charges. The 19-year-old Amir played in a Surrey Cricket League game for Addington 1743, a village team based in a south London suburb that didn’t realize he was ineligible to play for five years.

“The suspension clearly states that he cannot take part in any cricket-related activities,’’ ICC spokesman Samiul Hasan said. “We are aware of the reports and are investigating the matter. Until our investigation is complete, we have no further comment.’’

Amir was introduced to Addington, which has less than 20 members, through captain Ijaz Raja and a team sponsor last week ahead of Saturday’s match against St. Lukes. “We’ve got a couple of guys who have contacts with people from the Pakistan team. They said it would be good if he could play, and it was a good day out for him and us,’’ club secretary Raheal Shafi said. “I got the news from our captain on Friday morning and we spoke to the league secretary, Robin Ford, on Friday just to make sure everything was fine ... and he was fine about it.

“He said there shouldn’t a be a problem. Robin Ford is associated with St. Lukes and he is one of their members. The opposition were St. Lukes and they did not have any objections.’’

Amir took four wickets and scored 60 runs in the match. Amir and Pakistan teammates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were banned for at least five years by the ICC in February for accepting money from a businessman to bowl predetermined no-balls during a test in England last year.

They are also set to face a criminal trial in London in October after being charged with conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments along with their agent, Mazhar Majeed. The match on Saturday was under the jurisdiction of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

“The ECB has been notified that Amir has played a league match and is investigating and liaising with the ICC as appropriate on the matter.’’

I was told it was just a friendly game: Amir

Mohammad Amir has confirmed that he played for Addington in a Surrey Cricket League Division One match on June 4 but said that he took part only because he was told playing would not violate his ICC ban.

“I was informed by club representatives before the game that it was a friendly match, being played on a privately owned cricket ground,” Amir told PakPassion.net. “I asked the club representatives if the match fell under the jurisdiction of the ECB and they informed me that the match did not. I spoke to several club representatives about the issue and they all told me that it was a friendly match and therefore would not contravene my ban from the ICC. I was informed that I was fine to play.”

Amir also denied that he had signed any registration documents with the club and insisted that he would never have taken the risk of playing had he known it was an official match. “I would not be stupid enough to knowingly play in a match that I knew would contravene my ban. “

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