Mixed reaction to clemency for Mohammed Amir


Mixed reaction to clemency for Mohammed Amir

Amir was jailed for six months in UK and suspended for his part in a spot-fixing scam during Pakistan’s 2010 tour of England.

By Liaqat Ali (Reporter/Chief Sub Editor)

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Published: Fri 30 Jan 2015, 11:48 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:43 PM

Amir waves after a Press conference in Lahore on Thursday. — AP

Dubai — The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision to lift ban on tainted seamer Mohammed Amir, which paved the way for him to play in domestic cricket has evoked mixed reaction from former Pakistani players and officials. Amir, 22, was jailed for six months in UK and suspended for his part in a spot-fixing scam during Pakistan’s 2010 tour of England.

“In my opinion, it’s a wrong decision,” contended former Pakistani leg-spinner Abdul Qadir while talking to Khaleej Times over telephone from Lahore. “The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is responsible for that,” the former Chairman of Selectors in Pakistan said.

“I have always maintained that they should have set examples for the other cricketers in the world out of stringent punishment to Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif.” He also reckons that by pursuing only Amir’s case with ICC for mercy, the PCB had done injustice to the other two.  

Meanwhile, Butt, who was also banned and jailed with Amir,  told local media in Lahore on Thursday he would also expect same treatment from PCB and deserved a chance to make a comeback to cricket. “My rehabilitation is in the final stages and the PCB needs to expedite my case as well,” he reiterated.

He also feels that his case got delayed only because of dilly-dallying by the board. “I deserve the same benefit as it is being enjoyed by Amir.” Former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja, during an informal interaction in Dubai, had said that it was grossly wrong to reintegrate an individual, who was caught cheating and sentenced. 

“Amir’s comeback will make things difficult for Misbah-ul-Haq’s men in the dressing room,” he feels. In Raja’s opinion all the attention would be back on match-fixing and all the hard work by done by the Pakistani players may go into drain. “Amir should not be allowed to return to international cricket,” Tauqeer Zia, former PCB chief, while speaking to reporters at a book-launch in Lahore, said.

“Amir’s return might create problems for his team-mates as it would not be easy for them to adjust with a criminal,” he added..

Former captain Mohammad Yousuf, however, has different opinion. “The fast bowler should be welcomed again with ‘big heart,” he said

“He has served his punishment,” Yousuf told television channel Geo TV.  Amir while addressing a news conference in Lahore on Thursday thanked the PCB for supporting him during this ordeal. “Everyone has his own thinking,” he said when asked about negative reaction to his ban being lifted.

“I should focus on my career and see what I could do for the betterment of Pakistan cricket,” he said.  “There are players like Shane Watson, Michael Atherton, Michael Holding, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar and Imran Khan who are saying that I should come back, so whom should I listen to?”

Before his suspension Amir took 51 wickets in 14 Test matches at an average of 29.09 and 25 wickets in 15 one-day internationals at an average of 24. He also competed in 18 Twenty20 internationals and took 23 wickets.  “I don’t just want to get back as a top cricketer but also as a better human being who has reformed himself,” he added.

“I need just a month or so to get back to match fitness but it is yet to be decided when and with which team I will resume playing cricket,” Amir said.




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