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September 7, 2010

Lorgat hints at leniency for Amir

Sports

AFP
September 7, 2010

CARDIFF, Wales: There is plenty of sympathy for the 18-year-old Mohammad Amir, one of the three Pakistan cricketers embroiled in a ‘spot-fixing’ scandal.
Reports have suggested over the last couple of days that authorities could show leniency in Amir’s case considering the fact that he is one of the youngest cricketers in international cricket. Many critics have even suggested that Amir, who became the youngest bowler in Test history to take 50 wickets, could have been forced into becoming a part of the scam by his senior teammates.
However, the Pakistan camp believes that if found guilty all the players should get similar punishment.
When asked whether he would support the idea of a softer punishment for Amir, Pakistan’s associate manager Shafqat Rana said that all the players should be punished in a similar manner if they are found guilty.
Rana, a former Pakistan Test cricketer, said that if charges of corruption against Amir and two other teammates — Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif are proved — regardless of his age, Amir should not be spared just because he is young.
“I think it should be the same with everybody who breaks the law. It doesn’t matter,” said Rana.
He added that is the consensus back in Pakistan too. “Yes, they want everything in the best spirit of the game.”
Shahid Afridi, Pakistan’s one-day captain, also expressed similar views at a press conference ahead of Tuesday’s (today’s) Twenty20 International against England.
However, ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat has hinted that Amir’s age could be a consideration in deciding the quantum of punishment if the corruption allegations against the Pakistani trio are proved.
“In my own honest personal view, yes, I think age would come into account in these matters,” Lorgat was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail on Monday. “But that is something the independent tribunal will have to decide upon.”

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