Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Aamer should not be punished and instead be helped with rehabilitation if found guilty, feels former England captain Michael Atherton.
"Admittedly, if these allegations are proven accurate, to reprieve Aamer at the expense of anyone else involved would be arbitrary and, in a sense, unfair. It would give succour to those who argue - rightly - that the events of the past few days are a direct consequence of a failure to act on the excesses of the past.
"Yet that would be to ignore the obvious: that Aamer is a potent symbol right now, of what was, what is and what might be," Atherton wrote in his column for The Times on Wednesday.
He said the 18-year-old fast bowler should not be punished as an example to the rest rather he should be made more aware of the issues.
"He should be educated, rehabilitate and held up as an example of what can be achieved. Amir's rehabilitation should be at the heart of the cleansing of Pakistan cricket. The brilliant young bowler is not the cause of the problem but the most tragic consequence of it," stressed Atherton.
Meanwhile, Aamer's elder brother Mohammad Ijaz today dismissed all allegations levelled against the Pakistani fast bowler and said he was innocent.
"He is feeling depressed and is under a lot of tension since this controversy broke out. He has told us repeatedly that he is innocent and has never done anything against the interests of Pakistan cricket," Ijaz said.
"We believe him because we know well and we know what sort of person he is. If he says he is innocent then he is innocent."
Ijaz said he had assured his brother not to lose hope and keep faith in God.
"We have told him remain firm and the truth will come out and you will be vindicated soon."
Ijaz felt that the betting charges were labelled against Aamir were made because he was an upcoming cricketer and had performed very well in England.