London, June 9: Banned Pakistani speedster Mohammad Amir is in hot water after playing a match in England, which has prompted the International Cricket Council (ICC) to launch an investigation against the supposed breach of the ban imposed on him.
However, the 19-year-old paceman claimed innocence, saying that the Surrey Cricket League Division One encounter at Addington which he recently appeared in, was supposed to be nothing more a "friendly" game.
Amir was handed a five-year ban by ICC in February for his involvement in last year's spot-fixing scandal.
"We are investigating and awaiting the details. If true, it is clearly a breach of the sanction imposed in February. The ban is absolutely worldwide covering all levels and any activities connected with cricket. What might happen next is a hypothetical question at this stage," ICC spokesman Colin Gibson was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
Aamir, who was banned along with his Pakistani teammates Slaman Butt and Mohammed Asif in the spot-fixing scandal, asserted that he played in the match but said he never knew the game was an official league fixture.
"I was informed by club representatives before the game that it was a friendly match, being played on a privately owned cricket ground. I asked the club representatives if the match fell under the jurisdiction of ECB and they informed me that the match did not," Amir was quoted as saying by a Pakistani website.
"I spoke to several club representatives about the issue and they all told me that it was a friendly match and therefore would not contravene my ban from the ICC. I was informed that I was fine to play," Amir reasoned.
Amir denied that he had signed any sort of registration documents with the club and insisted that he would not risk further trouble by playing in an official fixture.
Amir played a pivotal role in Addington's 81-run victory in the game, against St Luke's CC. He surprisingly opened the innings and scored 60 before returning with bowling figures of four for nine in seven overs.