I was expecting a harsher punishment: former PCB chief

Karachi, Feb 6 (PTI) Former PCB chief Shahriar Khan todaysaid the bans imposed on the the Pakistani trio were justifiedbecause of the serious nature of the crime, though thecountry''s sports minister, Ajaz Jakhrani, has called on theICC to review the five-year ban imposed on Mohammad Aamer.

"Yes, I feel sad for Aamer, but a wrong is a wrong. Ithink it is time the ICC took some action against corruptionin cricket and I was expecting a much harsher punishment forthe players. Khan said.

Jakhrani told reporters in Islamabad that he wassurprised by the "long" ban on the young pacer.

"We think the ICC must review the ban on Aamer againbecause he is young and was influenced into doing things hemight not have wanted to do," Jakhrani said.

The minister said the bans on Salman Butt, Aamer andMohammad Asif would impact Pakistan''s sports fraternity,though the ICC said it was convinced and took action under thelaws.

"But we think the punishment on Aamer is a bit too harshand he should be given a chance to redeem and reform and makea comeback to cricket," he said.

Khan told PTI that the players now need to sit down andchart out their future plan of action as they have also beencharged by London Metropolitan Police of corruption.

"I don''t know how they will manage things but what isinteresting is that while the Crown Prosecution Office hascalled them on March 17, they have 21 days to appeal the bansimposed by the ICC anti-corruption tribunal.

"That means they have to decide quickly what they want todo, but I personally feel they must take the case in Londonseriously because it is criminal in nature and I would notlike to see a one-handed decision passed against them," Khansaid.

Former leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed felt that the only wayback to cricket for the players was through a legal course.

"I don''t know why the ICC chief executive, Haroon Lorgathas said that Asif and Aamer can''t return to cricket becausethey have the right to appeal and Aamer is still young andeven if he completes five years of ban he will still be only24," Mushtaq said.

The leg-spinner said he was disappointed with the wholeepisode but was relieved that some measures have finally beentaken to root out corruption in cricket.

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