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LONDON: The England and Wales Cricket Board has asked the Surrey Cricket Board to assist with its investigation into the banned Pakistan bowler Mohammad Amir’s appearance for a village side.

The 19-year-old was suspended for five years by the International Cricket Council in February after being found guilty of deliberately bowling no-balls in the spot-fixing scandal against England last year.

The ban states that Amir must not take part in any cricket-related activity but he confirmed on Wednesday that he had played for Addington 1743 on Saturday in the Surrey Cricket League, with the club website stating that he took four wickets in seven overs and made 60 runs against St Luke’s. Amir said that he had checked with the club if the match fell under the auspices of the ECB, but was told that it was a friendly.

The ECB’s acknowledgement of the incident increases the likelihood that Amir will now face sanctions from the ICC for breaching the terms of the five-year ban that he incurred earlier this year, following his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal which erupted during the Lord’s Test between Pakistan and England last August.

The ICC launched an investigation into the reports, with the ECB following suit, and the latter has asked the Surrey Cricket Board to help it look into the matter.

An ECB statement said: “The ECB today announced that it has requested the Surrey Cricket Board to assist it in its investigation of the circumstances surrounding the Pakistan cricketer Mohammed [sic] Amir’s appearance for Addington 1743 CC in a Surrey Cricket League Division One match last weekend.

“ECB has also written separately to Addington 1743 CC seeking a full written explanation from the club of the events leading up to Amir’s appearance in the match. The decision came after ECB confirmed Addington 1743 CC falls under its regulatory jurisdiction by virtue of the club being affiliated to the Surrey Cricket Board. The ECB will also continue to assist the ICC with its own inquiry into the matter.”

Amir believed that he was clear to play. He told PakPassion.net: “I was informed by club representatives before the game that it was a friendly match, being played on a privately owned cricket ground.

“I asked the club representatives if the match fell under the jurisdiction of the ECB 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 would not contravene my ban from the ICC. I was informed that I was fine to play.”

Amir also denied that he had signed any registration documents with the club and insisted that he would never have taken the risk of playing had he known it was an official match.

“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”.

Amir was central to Addington’s 81-run victory in the game, against St Luke’s CC. He surprisingly opened the innings and scored 60 before returning figures of 4 for 9 in seven overs.

 



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