Filled with remorse, teen Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir has apologised for his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal, saying his dream of becoming the world's best cricketer lies in tatters and he is not sure if the game would ever want him back.
Amir had become the youngest player to take 50 Test wickets before being embroiled in the spot-fixing scandal last year. The 19-year-old said he was trapped and would now accept whatever punishment the court decides.
"My dream was to be the best cricketer in the world ... I do not know if cricket will ever want me again. I can understand why it would not," Amir said in a statement read out by his lawyer Henry Blaxland QC at the Southwark Crown Court here. "I want to apologise to Pakistan and to everyone that cricket is important to. I do know how much damage this has done to the game, a game which I love more than anything else in the world," he said.
Amir said being selected for Pakistan was the best day of his life and he would have slept in his team shirt as he did not want to ruin it.
"The best day of my life was when I was selected to play for Pakistan. I got my shirt the night before, I put it on and stood in front of the mirror for a very long time. I could not believe I was playing for Pakistan," he said.
"If I could have, I would have slept in it, but I didn't want to ruin the shirt. That moment was my dream. As soon as I began to realise I could play well when I was 13 my only dream was to play cricket for Pakistan," he added.
Amir admitted that he bowled two deliberate no-balls during the August 2010 Test at Lord's but claimed he felt "pressured" to get involved.
He said he could not gather the courage earlier but now he feels relieved after the confession.
"But I know this was very late and I want to apologise for not saying it before. I didn't find the courage to do it at the beginning, and I know very well that made everything much more difficult.
"I got myself into a situation that I didn't understand. I panicked and did the wrong thing. I don't want to blame anyone else. I didn't want money at all, I didn't bowl the no balls because of money. I got trapped and in the end it was because of my own stupidity.
"As difficult as this past year has been, and in particularly today, I am still relieved to have admitted what I have done. I don't know what my future holds but I would like to say I have learnt a very hard lesson," he added. Amir said he now realises he could have handled the circumstances differently and would accept the judge's decision on his fate wholeheartedly.
"I apologise to everyone for what I did, and that I did not accept responsibility earlier. I respect any decision the court will make," he said.
"I accept I have done wrong and that there were other things I could have done and should have done in the circumstances I found myself in." Judge Jeremy Cooke had dismissed claims that Amir was involved in a one-off case of spot-fixing, pointing to the text messages which suggested he was also involved in fixing in Tests prior to The Oval match against England.