Mohammad Amir faces new disciplinary action

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The Independent Online

Banned paceman Mohammad Amir is facing the threat of more disciplinary action after the 19-year-old admitted playing for a village side in Surrey last weekend.

Amir insists he was told that the match was a friendly and would not contravene his suspension.

The International Cricket Council have launched an inquiry after it emerged that Amir, who is serving a five-year ban, played in the Surrey league for club side Addington 1743 on Saturday.

Amir was banned by the ICC in February after being found guilty of deliberately bowling no balls in the spot-fixing scandal against England last year.

He has now said he was stunned to learn that the Addington match was a league game - he took four wickets and scored 60 with the bat against St Luke's CC.

Amir told "I was informed by club representatives before the game that it was a friendly match, being played on a privately-owned cricket ground.

"I asked the club representatives if the match fell under the jurisdiction of the ECB and they informed me that the match did not.

"I spoke to several club representatives about the issue and they all told me that it was a friendly match and therefore would not contravene my ban from the ICC. I was informed that I was fine to play."

The ICC ban states Amir must not take part in any cricket-related activity but he insists he believed he was okay to play in the game.

He added: "I would not be stupid enough to knowingly play in a match that I knew would contravene my ban. Wherever I am going to play cricket, the world will know about it. I would not be stupid enough to play in a match where I knew that I would be taking a risk."

The club's website confirmed that Amir appeared for the team on Saturday against St Luke's CC.

The statistics show that he took four wickets in seven overs, conceding just nine runs. He hit 60 runs with the bat as Addington won by 81 runs.

Amir was sanctioned by the ICC along with Pakistan captain Salman Butt, who was hit with a 10-year ban, and team-mate Mohammad Asif, who was banned for seven years.

The trio, along with a fourth man Mazhar Majeed, are due to face trial at Southwark Crown Court in October accused of cheating and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments. They deny the charges.

ICC spokesman James Fitzgerald said: "We have heard the reports and we are investigating.

"The suspension very clearly states that it is a suspension from all forms of cricket and all cricket-related activities."

Addington 1743 say on their club website that they own their own ground in "a very idyllic area" in Addington Village, near Croydon.

The website says: "We are a very welcoming club and are always on the look out for new players."

Club secretary Raheal Shafi insisted no money had been paid to Amir.

He said: "We've got a couple of guys who have contacts with people from the Pakistan team. They said it would be good if he could play, and it was a good day out for him and us.

"I got the news from our captain on Friday morning and we spoke to the league secretary, Robin Ford, on Friday just to make sure everything was fine ... and he was fine about it.

"He said there shouldn't be a problem. Robin Ford is associated with St Luke's and he is one of their members. The opposition were St Luke's and they did not have any objections.

"We are nowhere near Test or county standard and there was no money involved.

"He was very down to earth. He was relaxing and sitting on the grass and talking about life in Pakistan, life in England and where he has travelled."

The match is likely to have come under the jurisdiction of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who are themselves investigating.