Mohammad Aamer

Mohammad Aamer was banned for deliberately bowling no-balls in return for the promis of money during the 2010 Lord’s Test against England © Getty Images

Lahore: Oct 24, 2013

Pakistan‘s cricket chief said on Wednesday he was optimistic the game’s governing body would relax the five-year ban imposed on young paceman Mohammad Aamer for spot-fixing.

Aamer, now 21, was banned along with team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif for deliberately bowling no-balls in return for the promise of money during the 2010 Lord’s Test against England.

All three players also served jail terms in Britain on charges of violating the Gambling Act.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said Saturday that Aamer’s case would be reviewed after a revised anti-corruption code was adopted.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in July had asked the ICC to relax the conditions of Aamer’s ban to let him train at the national academy and play First-Class matches.

The ICC will review the new code at a meeting in January and PCB chairman Najam Sethi said he was optimistic for Aamer.

“We hope good news will come in January,” Sethi told reporters at Lahore airport on his return from the ICC meeting.

“I think Aamer should get permission to play first-class cricket because he has served four of the five-year ban.”

Sethi said Aamer’s ban was harsh and the PCB has argued he should be given credit for admitting his guilt and taking part in ICC anti-corruption efforts.

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

Aamer was just 18 at the time of the incident and widely regarded as one of the best young bowling talents in the game.

He took six wickets in the fateful Lord’s Test and was declared man-of-the-series in Pakistan’s 3-1 series defeat.

Last week Aamer told AFP he was dying to return to the game.

“I am desperate to return to the game I love and hope to get some relaxation in the ban,” he said.