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Banned Aamer Returns Home

Latest Pakistan News / Islamabad –  Pakistan’s banned cricketer Mohammad Aamer returned home Sunday after serving his jail sentence for spot-fixing in London.

Muhammad Amir

Aamer was sentenced for six months, but was released earlier this month due to good behavior after serving half his sentence, for spot-fixing with two teammates – Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif – during a test against England at Lords in August 2010. Butt and Asif are still serving their jail sentences.

Aamer did not speak to the waiting media on arriving at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport.

Local television showed the 19-year-old left-arm fast bowler – sitting on the back seat of a white car with his lawyer – being driven away to his house in Lahore.

“He has arrived with his lawyer Sajida Malik,” Aamer’s mentor Asif Bajwa told the Associated Press.

Aamer is banned by the International Cricket Council until September 2015 for bowling deliberate no-balls.

Aamer pleaded guilty and did not contest his case in London’s Southwark Crown Court last year and was given less punishment than Butt and Asif.

Butt, the then Pakistan captain, was jailed for 2 1/2 years and Asif for 1 1/2 years after being convicted for receiving money to ensure no-balls were bowled in the Lord’s test 18 months ago.

The left-arm paceman could appeal in the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the ICC ban.

“Hopefully the ICC ban will be reduced after his appeal in the CAS,” Bajwa said. “I am very optimistic that Aamer will return to international cricket in near future.”

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf said earlier this month that he would see how Aamer’s appeal goes in the CAS, but the cricket board may assist Asif in his rehabilitation through an education program whether his ban is reduced or not.

Aamer was considered one of cricket’s brightest prospects, claiming 51 wickets in 14 test matches and 25 wickets in 15 ODIs before bowling those infamous no-balls.

The PCB chief admitted that it was a case of a huge talent lost and said once Aamer serves his ban it was up to the selectors to pick him for the national team.

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