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    ICC opens probe after Amir breaches ban

    Mohammad Amir is being investigated by the ICC for playing a minor English league match desbite being banned.

    London: Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Amir is being investigated by the ICC after playing in a minor English league match last week despite being banned from the sport for corruption.

    The 19-year-old Amir took part on Saturday in an official Surrey Cricket League match for Addington 1743, a village team based in a south London suburb that didn't realise he breached his five-year ban by playing.

    "The suspension clearly states that he cannot take part in any cricket-related activities," ICC spokesman Samiul Hasan told The Associated Press. "We are aware of the reports and are investigating the matter."

    The Surrey Cricket League is under the jurisdiction of the England and Wales Cricket Board, which said it is "investigating and liaising with the ICC as appropriate."

    The ICC tribunal that banned Amir in February for "spot-fixing" could impose a further sanction if it is proved he played in a competitive match.

    "He has been at all times anxious not to violate his ban," said Gareth Peirce, Amir's lawyer. "He has seen today's news reports with alarm. He is making contact directly through his lawyers with the ICC.

    "He was given the chance of joining in part of a game with a village cricket team as a way of keeping in practice. He was assured by the team that they had asked their league if he was permitted to play with them and had been told that he was. He did not stay for the whole match."

    The left-arm fast bowler was introduced to Addington, which has less than 20 members, through captain Ijaz Raja and a team sponsor last week. Amir took four wickets and scored 60 runs in the match.

    "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," club secretary Raheal Shafi said. "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 a be a problem. Robin Ford is associated with St. Lukes and he is one of their members. The opposition were St. Lukes and they did not have any objections."

    Shafi, who has been a member of Addington since 1991, said he thought Amir was only prohibited from playing professional cricket.

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

    Amir and Pakistan teammates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were banned for at least five years by the International Cricket Council in February for accepting money from a businessman to bowl predetermined no-balls during a Test in England last year.

    They are also due to face a criminal trial in London in October after being charged with conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments along with their agent Mazhar Majeed.

    When he wasn't playing on Saturday, Amir gave advice about how the Addington players could improve their batting and bowling.

    Shafi said his teammates watched clips of Amir bowling for Pakistan on the internet in front of him.

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