Mohammad Aamer, the banned Pakistan pace bowler, has confirmed that he had featured in an English local league match last week and claims he had permission to play, despite his five-year worldwide ban from all forms of competitive cricket.
Aamer clarified the reasons behind his appearance in an interview with PakPassion.net and added that he never knew the match was a league fixture.
“I was informed by club representatives before the game that it was a friendly match, being played on a privately owned cricket ground,” he said.
“I asked the club representatives if the match fell under the jurisdiction of the ECB [English Cricket Board] and they informed me that the match did not.
“I spoke to several club representatives about the issue and they all told me that it was a friendly match and therefore would not contravene my ban from the ICC [International Cricket Council]. I was informed that I was fine to play”
Aamer, 19, was hit with a five-year ban from all forms of the game in February following allegations of involvement in a spot-fixing scandal during last summer’s Test series between England and Pakistan.
Yesterday, James Fitzgerald, an ICC spokesman, said: “We have heard the reports and we are investigating.
“The suspension very clearly states that it is a suspension from all forms of cricket and all cricket-related activities.”
The English newspaper The Daily Star reported that Aamer had been spotted playing for club side Addington 1743 in a Surrey Cricket League Division One game last Saturday.
Witnesses said Aamer stole the show, scoring 60 runs before taking four wickets in an 81-run win over St Lukes.
“No one could quite believe it was him,” St Lukes batsman Karl Quinn, 37, was quoted as saying. “There was no attempt to disguise who he was, he even posed for a picture with me.
“One of our Pakistani players was rubbing his eyes in disbelief and asking: ‘Is that who I think it is?’ He didn’t stay till the end but it was blatantly him.”
But Aamer told PakPassion.net that he had not signed any sort of registration documents with the club and insisted that he would not risk aggravating his standing by playing in a meaningless fixture.
“I would not be stupid enough to knowingly play in a match that I knew would contravene my ban.
“Wherever I am going to play cricket, the world will know about it. I would not be stupid enough to play in a match where I knew that I would be taking a risk”.
PCB suspend selector for comments on Afridi
The Pakistan Cricket Board has suspended selector Mohammad Ilyas for responding in the media to retired captain Shahid Afridi's allegations of nepotism.
The PCB spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said a disciplinary committee will conduct Ilyas' hearing.
Afridi claims Ilyas wanted to pick his son-in-law Imran Farhat in the national team. Ilyas denies the allegations and said on a TV talk show that he was not in favor of Afridi's inclusion in the team before the World Cup earlier this year.