London:Former England Opener Michael Atherton came in support of young fast bowler Mohammed Amir, one of the three Pakistani cricketers named in a spot-fixing scandal,saying he should not be punished and instead be helped with rehabilitation if found guilty.
"Admittedly, if these allegations are proven accurate, to reprieve Amir at the expense of anyone else involved would be arbitrary and, in a sense, unfair. It would give succour to those who argue - rightly - that the events of the past few days are a direct consequence of a failure to act on the excesses of the past.
"Yet that would be to ignore the obvious: that Amir is a potent symbol right now, of what was, what is and what might be, "Atherton wrote in his column for The Times today.
He said the 18-year-old fast bowler should not be punished as an example to the rest rather he should be made more aware of the issues.
"He should be educated, rehabilitate and held up as an example of what can be achieved. Amir's rehabilitation should be at the heart of the cleansing of Pakistan cricket. The brilliant young bowler is not the cause of the problem but the most tragic consequence of it," stressed Atherton.