Mohammad Amir: ICC to decide next week on first-class return

Mohammad Amir
Before his ban, Amir was described as cricket's "hottest property" by Pakistan great Imran Khan

Pakistan bowler Mohammad Amir could return to first-class cricket next month after the conditions of his five-year ban for spot-fixing were relaxed.

Amir was jailed for six months for his part in a 2010 betting scam with team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif.

The International Cricket Council has now reviewed its anti-corruption code allowing banned players to play domestic cricket before their ban ends.

The ICC will decide next week when Amir, 22, can return to the game.

His five-year ban is set to expire in August this year.

Mohammad Amir timeline
26 August 2010: Pakistan start Test match against England at Lord's
28 August 2010: Newspaper makes spot-fixing allegations against some Pakistan players
29 August 2010: Police speak to Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif
February 2011: ICC hand lengthy playing bans to trio
November 2011: Trio found guilty in court and given prison sentences
February 2012: Amir released from jail after serving three months of a six-month sentence

A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesman said: "It is most likely that Amir will get a reprieve to play domestic cricket."

Amir became the youngest player to take 50 wickets in Test cricket, against England at Trent Bridge in 2010.

He was punished for his part in a plot to deliberately bowl no-balls in Pakistan's Test match against England at Lord's in August 2010.

Butt was given a 10-year ban, five of which were suspended, while Asif received a seven-year ban, two suspended.

Butt, 30, and 32-year-old Asif also served time in prison.

The PCB will not take up their cases with the ICC because, unlike Amir, they took time to plead guilty to their charges.

Meanwhile, the Crown Prosecution Service in the United Kingdom is reviewing the convictionsexternal-link of all three Pakistan Test cricketers.

They were convicted at Southwark Crown Court on evidence given by journalist Mazher Mahmood, otherwise known as the 'Fake Sheikh'.

The cases against a number of footballers investigated over alleged match-fixing were dropped after doubts were raised about testimony given by Mahmood.external-link

Last July a case against singer and TV star Tulisa Contostavlos collapsed when the judge thought prosecution witness Mahmood had lied in giving evidence.