Karachi - Pakistan’s bowling coach, Aqib Javed, during the 2010 Lord’s Test when M Aamir and M Asif bowled no-balls in a successful attempt at spot-fixing believes the young left-arm pacer was mature enough to understand what he was doing and the trio betrayed his trust. “Aamir has been built up as young and naïve and I don’t think it is a fair narrative,” said Aqib, as quoted by The Indian Express. “Aamir was old enough to understand right from wrong. At least in the episode we are talking about. There is no question of him being treated differently because he is three years younger compared to the other guy. It’s about setting examples and age has nothing to do with it.”

When asked about how he felt when the news came out he recalled: “It was the worst day of my life. I was the bowling coach then, and have just horrible memories. That was the worst time of my life. All of us were so embarrassed. We couldn’t go out even to restaurants for a few weeks. In fact, we couldn’t even leave our hotel. It hit our dignity and we couldn’t show our faces anywhere. I don’t want to see something like that happening to Pakistan cricket or to any nation again.”

Former right-arm pacer was reluctant when asked if the players should be allowed to make an international comeback and that too soon. “The three players — Aamir, Asif and Salman Butt — have served out their suspension and they must have realised their mistakes,” he said. “They have gone through five tough years and some prison time as well, and they must be very embarrassed. But that doesn’t mean that they can play for Pakistan right away. They must start in domestic cricket and T20 leagues or first-class cricket anywhere in the world. That’s their right; everyone has the right to earn their bread and butter.

“However, I am concerned about fast tracking their selection to the national side. They just can’t be welcomed back with open arms as it will open the Pandora Box. Nobody has produced bad headlines for Pakistan cricket in the ensuing years. Though I am not involved with Pakistan cricket at the moment, I am still a Pakistani. I want positive news from Pakistan cricket.” Aqib further added that he was back-stabbed by the players as he had spent good quality time with them from the starting of their careers. “How do you think I feel when people take shortcuts and back-stab you? In this incident, I was the bowling coach. They not only challenged my authority but have betrayed me. That is wrong,” said Aqib.

“It’s not even that I just knew them when I worked as the bowling coach of Pakistan. Our relationship went much further back. I was their coach from the start. I had actually supported them early in their careers, in fact found them. Asif and Aamir especially, and brought them up from nowhere. We have gone through so many memorable moments, good, tough and emotional. I had been with them on so many junior tours, ‘A’ tours, countless net sessions and spent innumerable hours talking about the game.

“And it’s not as if they weren’t made aware about these illegal activities. We had many programmes in our academy where we had presentations about illegal stuff and the kind of people they should avoid. “If you take Sachin and Younis, they were successful and made more money than any corrupt cricketer can imagine to, and they have done it through hard-work and sacrifice and by not taking a single short-cut in life.”

They not only have more money but more respect.”