Karachi: Pakistan's banned fast bowler Muhammad Aamir has decided to complete his education and stay away from cricket as he is not eligible to play the game for the next five years because of his involvement in spot-fixing.
Aamir, who will turn 19 next month, said he had always wanted to finish his education.
"Because of cricket and especially after I was selected to represent the Pakistan junior and senior teams I never got the chance to concentrate on my studies properly.
"But now I feel it is the best time to complete my education," he said.
The anti-corruption tribunal of the International Cricket Council (ICC) last month had banned Aamir, Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif for different periods on charges of spot-fixing during the fourth Test against England at Lords last year.
The trio have appealed against their bans with the international court for arbitration for sports in Geneva.
They would have to appear before a magistrate in Westminister London on March 17 to face charges for accepting bribes and trying to defraud.
Aamir said he would be going to London to attend the magistrates hearing in the Scotland Yard case.
"Since the time we were suspended by the ICC it has been the most difficult period of my life and it is hard to decide what to do to use up the time productively," the left arm fast bowler said.
"So I decided this was the best time to complete my studies and get a degree, alongside fighting my case to get my name cleared of spot-fixing charges," said Aamir.
The youngster, who made his debut in 2009, created a big impact in a year's time, during which he played 14 Tests, 15 One-day Internationals and 18 Twenty20 matches.
Aamir said he was determined to prove his innocence. "I am now trying to complete my unfinished studies privately because one thing I have learnt through the last few months is that you need good education in life.
"I have learnt a lot from this distressing period of my life," he said.
Aamir, who hails from the rural Gujjar Khan area in Punjab province, also added that education would help him reform his life.
"I am happy that my family is behind me and there are a lot of people who come up and say we want to see you play for Pakistan again. All this gives me lot of confidence and I feel I can make a comeback."
The pacer said that during the last few months he had also learnt who his real friends are.