Pakistan bowler Aamer returns home after release

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LAHORE Disgraced Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Aamer returned home early yesterday after his release from a British prison, an AFP reporter said.

Aamer was one of three Pakistan players jailed by a judge in London in November over their roles in a plan to bowl deliberate no-balls during a Test against England at Lords in August 2010.

The 19-year-old is also serving a five-year ban imposed by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Aamer arrived at Lahore airport from London at 4:35am local time (2300GMT) and headed straight for his home in the Defence Housing Authority neighbourhood without speaking to media.

Aamers family members also refused to speak to media. Television footage showed Aamer sitting in a white car as the vehicle entered his residence.

Former Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt was also sentenced to two-and-a-half years for being the orchestrator of the scam, while seamer Mohammad Asif received a 12-month prison term for bowling a fraudulent no-ball.

The London-based sports agent Mazhar Majeed who organised the scam was jailed for two years and eight months.

All three players are serving five-year ICC bans.
The scandal emerged as a result of an undercover investigation by the now defunct British tabloid the News of the World.

Both Butt and Aamer had appeals against their sentences rejected in November, with Englands top judge saying they had betrayed their country.

Last month, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf held out the prospect of Aamer returning to international cricket once his jail term and ICC ban had been completed.

Before the scandal, left-arm paceman Aamer had made a huge impact with his on-field performances. He took 51 wickets in 14 Tests, including seven at Leeds in 2010 as Pakistan beat Australia for the first time in 15 years. Reuters