Mohammad Aamir, Pakistan’s banned pace bowler, could get back to playing domestic cricket this winter, if the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Najam Sethi is to be believed.

Sethi told reporters in Lahore on Friday after returning from attending this week’s executive board meeting of the ICC in Dubai that he was hopeful the international body would reduce the five-year ban on Aamir by a year.

“Since we forcefully took up his case last year, the ICC had formed a special committee to look into the anomalies in the existing ICC anti-corruption laws and clauses and there good news is they also appear to understand our stance on Aamir’s ban,” he said.

“The ICC committee will submit its report in June this year recommending amendments in the anti-corruption laws and we are confident these could lead to a one-year reduction in the ban period on Aamir,” Sethi said.

“Aamir could be allowed to resume playing domestic first class cricket later this year,” he said.

The amended ICC anti-corruption code, set to be implemented from June, is likely to facilitate a quicker return to international cricket for players serving long-term bans.

The idea behind the move is to help the player get ready to play competitive cricket as soon as the ban period is over rather than wait for the ban to end before he can start training.

Aamir along with Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were all banned for a minimum of five years by ICC’s anti-corruption tribunal in February, 2011 after a disciplinary and appeal hearing into spot-fixing charges against them.

The trio were suspended by the ICC in September 2010 from all cricket after the spot-fixing scandal broke out during Pakistan’s tour to England in 2010. The three were found guilty of taking part in spot-fixing during the fourth Test against England at Lords.

Sethi said they had pleaded Aamir’s case on strong legal grounds and felt he didn’t deserve the same ban period as the others.

“Because of the complexity of this case we took legal opinion from a British QC in London before pleading his case in the ICC, which led to the formation of the special committee to review existing anti-corruption laws,” Sethi said.

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