“Prison is a bad place for everyone. Don’t make the mistakes which I did” — this was disgraced Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir’s warning to cricketers world over in an educational video for the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU),which has also been shown to IPL teams.
“I was stupid I didn’t tell anybody because I didn’t have coverage… If someone comes to you and asks you to do those kind of things,go straight to ICC team and team management they can help you,” says Amir,banned from competitive cricket for five years for his part in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal.
After being released from a UK prison following a criminal trial which led to him being jailed for six months,of which he served only three,Amir has been in repentance mode.
In the five-minute video,Amir gave an account of his sensational rise and the equally stunning downfall after bowling a couple of no balls on instructions of his banned skipper Salman Butt during the Lord’s Test against England.
“I took six wickets but I did something very bad — after a couple of hours,my life is changed,my life is ruined because of two no balls,” he said.
“I always knew this was cheating cricket but I was under pressure. But I accept my mistake. When I was in the ICC hearing,I knew I was totally embarrassed because I knew I am lying. I wanted to tell the truth but I didn’t have courage.”
The 19-year-old said his fault was to bow to the pressure that was exerted on him by Butt.
“…some senior players put me under pressure. I didn’t want to. One day I was on the top and the next day everyone was calling me cheater and fixer. You don’t have words to explain that,” he said.
“When the police put me in handcuffs I was literally crying and I was thinking I am not going to play cricket ever again.”
Amir has been in touch with the ICC and PCB after his release from prison for an educational and rehabilitation program,which “remains confidential”.