Pakistan cricket community divided on Aamir's return

Mohammad Aamir

Pakistan's cricket community is divided over the future of shamed fast bowler Mohammad Aamir who is scheduled to return to Pakistan later this month after completing a jail sentence in England for spot-fixing.

Aamir was released from a young offenders institute in Weymouth on Wednesday and his brother Ejaz today said the youngster was consulting his lawyers about filing an appeal against the five-year ban imposed on him by the ICC's anti-corruption tribunal.

"He is presently in London and will return this month before that he is consulting his lawyers about appealing against the five year ban which we feel is a bit too much," Ejaz said.

Aamir was released after serving three months of his six month sentence which was handed out to him last year by a crown court in London for his role in the spot-fixing scandal that broke out on Pakistan's tour to England in 2010.

"Aamir follows the performance of the Pakistan team very closely and obviously he is gutted that he can't play cricket. But we are just happy he is out of jail," his brother said.

Aamir has the option of appealing against the ICC ban to the sports arbitration court in Switzerland.

Interestingly ,even the ICC anti-corruption tribunal had said while imposing the ban on the teenaged pacer that if it had been possible within the rules of the ICC anti-corruption code it would have gone for a lighter sentence against Aamir.

Sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board said while the legal counsels were following the Aamir case closely but as yet there was no decision on whether the PCB would play any role in requesting the ICC to reconsider the five year ban on the pacer.

"Obviously there is a feeling that Aamir is an extraordinary talented player who still has a future in Pakistan cricket. But given the severity of his offence there is a division on what should be the role of the PCB in this affair or when Aamir officially appeals against the ICC ban," one official source said.

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