'No international cricket for Butt, Amir, Asif until 2016'
Three Pakistan cricketers will have to undergo a six-month rehabilitation program before they can return to international cricket after their five-year ban ends on September 1.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will allow opening batsman Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir to play division two and club cricket from September 2, but the trio will be barred from first class and international match until the program ends on February 28 next year.
The ICC banned the cricketers for at least five years for spot-fixing after Asif and Amir bowled deliberate no-balls during a Test match in 2010 in which Pakistan was led by Butt.
PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said the board had to consider the possible negative effects of re-inserting the players into Pakistani cricket. "Having considered all these factors we have come up with an action plan that will ensure a smooth and gradual induction of these players into cricket," Khan said in a statement.
The three cricketers will start working with PCB's vigilance and anti-corruption department from September 2 and will deliver lectures in 16 regions all over Pakistan. The PCB had allowed the trio to practice at the National Cricket Academy from September 2 but they will not use the facility when national team players are present. The PCB has also asked the three players to regularly visit orphanages and schools "in order to publicly contribute toward social responsibility obligations."
The trio will also have integration sessions with the national team's bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed and Pakistan players so that if they return to international or first class cricket they have "congenial environment" in the dressing room.
"The (three) players should have an apologetic attitude toward their fellow players, selectors and other stakeholders as a sign of sincere remorse," the PCB said.