Abu Dhabi: Pakistan seamer Mohammad Amir, banned and jailed for spot fixing in one of cricket's darkest episodes, is set to be handed a dramatic return to the sport.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is expected to revise its anti-corruption code at a two-day board meeting starting in Dubai on Sunday, allowing all banned players to feature in domestic matches before their suspensions expire.
Sources told AFP that the ICC chief executives' committee has already approved the new provision and has recommended the full board to do the same.
Although the revised code will apply to all banned players, it could specifically benefit the 22-year-old Aamer, who was exiled from cricket after a spot-fixing scandal during Pakistan's tour of England in 2010.
Amir and pace partner Mohammad Asif, along with then Pakistan captain Salman Butt, orchestrated deliberate no-balls in return for money during the Lord's Test against England four years ago.
In February 2011, ICC anti-corruption tribunal chief Michael Beloff QC, a senior English lawyer, banned the players but also raised questions over the code and said he would recommend a revision in cases where the minimum punishment was five years.
Left-arm paceman Amir was banned for five years, Butt for 10, with five suspended, and Asif for seven, with two suspended. All three also served prison sentences.
"The ICC Board will discuss the recommendations from the executive committee, including in respect of a revised anti-corruption code and a revised ICC anti-doping code," said an ICC statement.
- Richardson hint -
ICC chief executive David Richardson hinted last month that the revision to the code would feature at the November 9-10 meeting.
"There is a provision now in the revised code which will allow a player who has been banned internationally to play domestic cricket for a certain period from his ban coming to an end," said former South Africa wicketkeeper Richardson, without mentioning the length of the period.
The ICC formed a five-man committee last year to consider the details of the code after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) requested a relaxation of certain conditions relating to Aamer's ban.
If the revised code is approved, a banned player will have to apply to the ICC to get permission to feature in domestic cricket.
The ICC will seek recommendations from its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit as well as from the home board concerned and the ICC board before clearing the player to feature in domestic matches.
The PCB is likely to make an appeal on behalf of Amir but let Butt and Asif's bans stand as they are.
Meanwhile the ICC board will also discuss matters relating to the Future Tours Programme from 2015-2023, playing conditions for the 2015 World Cup and suspected illegal bowling actions.
It will also look at matters arising from the controversial recent decision by the West Indies to cut short their tour of India following a dispute over payments to their players by Caribbean cricket chiefs.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India are seeking damages of $42 million -- a sum that could potentially bankrupt their West Indian counterparts.