Pakistan insists recalled paceman Amir rehabilitated

The 23-year-old's attendance at the camp in Lahore is regarded as a first step towards reviving his career after he was jailed in 2011 and hit with a five-year ban for admitting bowling no balls in exchange for cash.

Mohammed Amir was hit with a five-year ban in 2011.   -  AP

Pakistan's cricket board on Wednesday insisted paceman Mohammad Amir, who is at a national fitness camp after being banned from cricket over a spot-fixing scandal, was fully rehabilitated and deserved another chance at international cricket

The 23-year-old's attendance at the camp in Lahore is regarded as a first step towards reviving his career after he was jailed in 2011 and hit with a five-year ban for admitting bowling no balls in exchange for cash.

“From the first day, Amir has admitted his guilt and has sought forgiveness from his country, his fans and from Pakistanis,” the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement.

It said Amir had cooperated with multiple investigations, and continued: “Amir was 19 years old when he was indicted. He came from a rural underprivileged background and both (the) ICC (International Cricket Council) and the British justice system were lenient towards Amir because of his remorse and cooperative conduct.”

According to the board, Amir had completed a rehabilitation programme which included “lectures to junior teams warning them against corruption, sessions with psychologists and with senior players”.

While completing that programme, he was allowed to play domestic cricket.

Amir could be included in the Pakistan side for the national team's upcoming tour of New Zealand, where they play three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches.

Amir, then Test captain Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were charged with accepting money in exchange for arranging deliberate no-balls during a Test match at Lord's in England in 2010.

The three players and their agent Mazhar Majeed were jailed by a British court in 2011.

At the time, Amir was tipped as one of the most talented fast bowlers in the world. His ban was relaxed in April this year and completely lifted three months ago.

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan, meanwhile, has warned the young paceman that “he would constantly be seen under a microscope”, and Amir said this month he would do his best to prove he was a changed man.

“I promise that I will do my best to respect the prestige of the green cap and Pakistan shirt,” he told AFP.

Since his return, Amir has taken 22 wickets in four non first-class games, while his tally of wickets in the qualifying rounds of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy stood at 34.