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Mohammad Amir comes clean on spot-fixing.

Former Pakistani paceman Mohammad Amir insists he was tricked into taking part in the spot-fixing scandal that saw him sent to jail.

Amir deliberately bowled no-balls against England in the infamous Lord's Test of 2010, with Pakistan team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif also found guilty of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments.

In his first interview since being released last month having served half of his six-month sentence, the 19-year-old portrayed himself as a victim of an elaborate plot by then-captain Butt and bookie Mazhar Majeed, who was also imprisoned for his part in the conspiracy, and pleaded for forgiveness.

"[Butt] took advantage of our friendship. He should have helped me instead of involving me in all this," said Amir, who last year was banned from all cricket for five years. "When I first met Salman Butt, he was a senior player and a star for Pakistan. He told me that he had mentioned my name to someone and told them I was a nice boy and a very good bowler." Amir claimed that he took part in the scam because Majeed and Butt called him to a car park of the Pakistan team hotel the day before the Test and duped him into believing his phone conversations with an unidentified fixer named Ali, who he and Butt had met in Dubai, had been recorded by the International Cricket Council.

"[Majeed] told me I was trapped," he revealed. "I panicked so much it did not even occur to me how ridiculous it was." He added that Majeed said: "Do me a favour. Bowl two no-balls for me."

Amir recalled: "I said 'Bro, I'm scared I can't do it'. I was churning inside, thinking about it. I cursed myself. I knew I was cheating cricket…Then I did it." Amir then told how after the sting he was visited by Majeed and given $2,380.

"He told me I was his little brother. He was buzzing with excitement like he had hit the jackpot," Amir said. "I did not even touch the money. I knew that he had made me do something wrong." At the time, the promising left-armer was seen as the future of Pakistan cricket and the 14-Test star now admits he was foolish to throw it all away.

"One day I was on top of the world and the next it came crashing down," Amir added. "I was stupid. I should have told someone. But I didn't know what was happening to me."

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Mar 21, 2012
Words:435
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