Mohammad Aamer was banned by ICC for five years in 2011 © AFP
Mohammad Aamer was banned by ICC for five years in 2011 © AFP

Stuart Broad is the latest player of the lot to come out in open and offer sympathy and support to Mohammad Aamer ahead of Pakistan’s tour to England 2016. After a 5-year absence, Aamer will mark his return to Test cricket at the same venue where he was caught in what turned out to be the biggest mistake of his career. During the fourth and final Test at Lord’s in 2010, Aamer along with Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt were guilty of spot-fixing. ICC handed Aamer a 5-year ban, with Asif and Butt receiving 7 and 10 years ban respectively. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: England vs Pakistan, 1st Test match

Speaking about how he’d react against Aamer, Mail quoted Broad saying, “In Aamer’s case I certainly have no hard feelings about playing against him again. What he did was wrong but he was extremely young and maybe not aware of the consequences. The reality is he’s back in the game and has served his time.” ALSO READ: Mohammad Aamer vows to learn from past mistakes

“I have a little bit of sympathy for Aamer but once you’ve received money to do something illegal that is always a bad thing. We are very well-educated by the ICC’s anti-corruption unit, but at 18 years old (sic) you are potentially more vulnerable and susceptible to your elders.” ALSO READ: Aamer feels lucky to play in English conditions

“I am strongly of the view that one of the only ways we will ever expel this awful (match-fixing) disease from our game is to hand out lifetime bans for any kind of fixing. As an 18-year-old if you know the punishment is a lifetime ban from anything to do with cricket — playing, coaching, anything — that should be it. It would be a very scary thought.”

Broad also spoke about that particular match, where he scored his only Test century till date. “Of course it annoys me that that game will always be connected with what went on. Lord’s is the home of cricket. It’s a wonderful place to play and that Test match will always be remembered for the wrong reasons.”

“It was my best-ever innings, my only Test century and coming in tough circumstances as well. It was a good battle and I’ll never forget the feeling I got running through for that hundred. From what we know, the three Pakistan players weren’t actually fixing the game as a whole — a no-ball doesn’t affect if I hit a four or not — so I can still look back with a lot of pride on scoring that hundred. But of course it was tarnished by what happened.”