Mohammad Aamer played for Pakistan last in 2010 © AFP
Mohammad Aamer played for Pakistan last in 2010 © AFP

Karachi: A senior official in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) reiterated today that banned paceman Mohammad Aamer was still a long way from being considered for national selection.

Pakistani media sparked off a hype this week that Aamir could be returning to cricket by next month after International Cricket Council (ICC) officials interviewed him in Lahore this week regarding the application he has filed to be given relaxation to resume playing cricket before his five-year ban ends in September.

“We are happy the ICC has made progress on the request we sent to them to review the ban on Aamir in light of the revised anti-corruption laws but even when and if the ICC allows him some relaxation to resume playing cricket we will have our own mechanism in place to decide whether to consider him for national selection again,” the official, who declined to be named, told PTI.

He reminded that earlier this month the PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan had made it clear that the board would set a five to six-month evaluation period for Aamir whenever he is allowed to resume playing domestic cricket.

“We still are going to follow our mechanism because in this evaluation period we want to be absolutely satisfied he is reformed person and will not indulge in corruption again, we have to judge his form and fitness to play international cricket and most importantly we have to see whether the players he plays with or against are comfortable with him back in action,” the official disclosed.

He also brushed aside suggestions that Aamir might not get a visa from British authorities to play county cricket if he resumes playing domestic cricket next month.

“All this discussion is premature because we definitely will not be comfortable allowing him to play outside Pakistan before we evaluate him ourselves. And all players have to first get a NOC from the board before they can play abroad so the question of him being issued a visa will come much later,” he said.

He said in similar fashion the board would also look closely at whether to allow Saeed Ajmal to again play in county cricket whenever the ICC clears his bowling action. Aamir was one of three Pakistani players the others being Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif who were banned by the ICC for a minimum of five years after the spot fixing scandal in England broke out in August, 2010.

Interestingly the evidence presented against the three in the spot fixing scandal by the News of the World tabloid is now being reviewed again in the United Kingdom after fresh investigations into the working of the NOW undercover reporter who unearthed the spot fixing scandal while Pakistan were touring England in 2010.The PCB official asked about this development in UK said the board would review the situation if at all authorities in the UK declared the evidence in the spot fixing scandal as void.

The ICC is holding meetings in Dubai starting today and Aamir’s request for relaxation is on the agenda of one of the meetings.