Aamer to contest ICC ban

Karachi, Feb 6 (PTI) Pakistan''s left-arm pace bowlerMuhammad Aamer, who was banned for five years by the ICCanti-corruption tribunal on spot-fixing charges, has vowed tocontest and appeal the ban in the international court ofarbitration for sports in Switzerland.

"This is too harsh a decision for charges that I bowledtwo no-balls deliberately. I was never expecting such a harshdecision. I am in a state of shock but I am going to consultmy lawyer and appeal this ban in the international court,"Aamer said from Doha late last night.

"I think this is the worst day of my life and I am justdisappointed that because of me it is Pakistan that is facingembarrassment that is why we will contest this ban," he said.

The International Cricket Council yesterday banned formercaptain Salman Butt for 10 years and sanctioned seven and fiveyears of ineligibility for pace duo of Mohammad Asif and Aamerafter finding the three cricketers guilty of spot-fixingduring the fourth Test against England at Lord''s in lateAugust.

Aamer, who was first suspended by the ICC on allegationsof spot-fixing last September, said that he had been in touchwith his family after the ban was announced and they weresupporting him.

"I am really at loss of words to explain my feeling butit is a shocking decision to me. I just want to tell mycountrymen to repose faith in me and keep on supporting me. Iwill come out vindicated," he said.

The 18-year old pacer also made it clear that he had nointention of giving up cricket and would continue his trainingand practice as he remained hopeful of a comeback.

"Whatever God has ordained for me now perhaps it is forthe betterment of my future."

Asked if he felt the Pakistan Cricket Board had notsupported him as much as they could have done, the pacer saidlot had been said about this in the media and it was obviousto everyone.

"I would not like to comment on it further."

Aamer''s lawyer, Shahid Karim said he was disappointedthat the anti-corruption tribunal had not taken intoconsideration his clients young age or previous cleandisciplinary record while announcing the ban on him.

"Obviously this is a lengthy ban and we were notexpecting it. I am disappointed by the decision and we willdefinitely start preparing for the appeal soon," Karim said.

Aamer''s brother, Ejaz told the media in Lahore that hisyounger brother was innocent.

"We will not rest until our appeal is successful.

Everyone is disappointed with the decision and it is somethingthat was unexpected. My brother is innocent," Ejaz said. PTICorr SHN

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