The ICC had offered Pakistan teenaged pacer Muhammad Aamer a bargain under which if he had confessed to his involvement in spot-fixing he would have escaped with a maximum ban of two years.
A well-informed source in the Pakistan cricket Board told PTI today that the offer came across the table even before the anti-corruption tribunal of the ICC held its hearings earlier this year.
“I can confirm the offer came from the ICC at a one to one meeting with Aamer in which his lawyer, Shahid Karim and the Chairman of the board, Ijaz Butt were also present,” the source said.
He said the ICC offer was clear that if Aamer admitted his mistake and guilt to being part of the spot-fixing racket during Pakistan team’s tour to England last year he would have got off with a ban ranging from one to two years.
“Aamer at that time didn’t accept this offer and is now regretting it,” the source added.
The ICC anti-corruption tribunal in February banned Aamer, Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif for five years for their involvement in spot fixing and the trio are now also facing criminal charges under the gambling and anti-corruption acts of the Crown Prosecutor’s office in a London court.
The source said that Aamer had indeed submitted a written statement with the Southwark court in London admitting that he made a mistake and deliberately bowled no-balls for financial gain during the fourth test against England at Lords.
“Yes he has made a written admittance of his involvement and it appears he has done this to avoid a prison term in the criminal case,” the source said.
But the source was clear that the decision by Aamer to confess has come late.
“If he had admitted his guilt and involvement to the ICC he would have escaped a short ban and would have been available to play for Pakistan maximum by 2013,” the source said.
The source said the ICC made the offer keeping in mind Aamer’s age of 18 and had some sympathy for him because of this factor.
“Even his lawyer had advised Aamer that it would be difficult to fight the case but he didn’t listen. Even though the onus is on the prosecutors to prove a crime has taken place.
“In the case of these three the problem now is that Mazhar Majeed has also confessed to being involved in illegal acts during the Lords test,” the source noted.