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Younis urges reduction of ban on Amir

Associated Press
Feb 03, 2012 at 01:06pm IST

Dubai: Former Pakistan captain and coach Waqar Younis on Friday urged the International Cricket Council to review its five-year ban on young paceman Mohammad Amir.

"If the ban reduction can be considered then they should do that, every law gives margin," Younis told reporters.

Amir was released from jail on Wednesday because of good behaviour after serving half of his six-month sentence for spot-fixing during a Test against England in August 2010.

Younis urges reduction of ban on Amir

Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir has recently been released from a UK jail due to good behaviour after serving half of his six-month jail sentence.

But the ICC's ban means Amir could not take part in any cricketing activity before September 2015 — a career death sentence in Younis' view.

"It's difficult for a fast bowler to keep himself fit if he is not allowed to play even club cricket," Younis said. "We must have sympathy with him because he is so young. His talent will not only be missed by me but also by the Pakistan team."

Younis was the coach when Amir bowled that infamous intentional no-ball at Lord's which sparked the fixing probe, and even asked the paceman about it during the lunch interval.

Amir's two other team-mates — former captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif — were also found guilty of conspiring and cheating and are serving their sentences in a jail in London.

Butt was jailed for two-and-a-half years and Asif for one-and-a-half years.

Younis said he has more sympathy with Amir because the fast bowler should be given a benefit of doubt due to his youth.

Another former Pakistan captain Imran Khan has said Amir is a better bowler than the great paceman Wasim Akram was in his early days.

"So there must be something in him (Amir) if he is praised by Imran," Younis said.

Younis was not sure if the country's fans would want Amir even if he can be reinstated to cricket.

"I don't know whether he would be able to play or not, whether people of Pakistan will accept him or not," he said. "We accept that the incident happened and Pakistan's name was tainted, but I think other players will also learn from this."

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