"Ramiz Raja...pls stop criticizing tainted Pak cricketers", requests Mohammad Asif
Lahore: Tainted fast bowler Mohammad Asif has requested former Pakistan captain and TV commentator Ramiz Raja not to criticise the banned trio (Asif, Salman Butt and Mohammad Aamir) who are hoping to revive their international careers after serving their respective bans from the ICC for their involvement in the infamous spot-fixing case during 2010.
Talking to media here on Friday soon after his meeting with PCB chairman Shah¬a¬ryar M Khan to give his availability for the rehab programme, Asif pointed out that while Ramiz had shown a soft corner for West Indies player Marlon Sameuls who faced punishment in a similar case of match-fixing, he was not ready to show the same sentiments for the Pakistan players which was surprising.
It may be mentioned here that Ramiz, in a recent article for cricket website Cricinfo, has raised objections to fast-tracking the resumption of Amir's career under the new ICC rules.
The PCB has sent a letter to the ICC to seek permission for Amir to allow him to play domestic cricket as his five-year ban still have almost a year to go before it ends in Sept 2015.
Asif said his meeting with PCB chairman was satisfactory and, hopefully, he would get the permission to complete the rehab programme to continue his career as an international cricketer. Salman had also met the chairman a few days ago to get the permission for rehab enrollment.
However, according to sources the ICC and the PCB have a soft corner for Amir only because he had acted as approver in the spot-fixing case from the very outset while both Salman and Asif had contested their cases at the World Arbitration Court but failed to get a decision in their favour.
Moreover, sources said both Salman and Asif are required to share with the PCB and the ICC all information that they have regarding match-fixing as part of the rehab programme and only time will tell if they are willing to do so whole-heartedly.