Spot fixing scandal was a terrible blow to Pakistan cricket and it has been a painful process for the cricket loving nation to recover and stand up once again.
One of the key figures of the scandal Mohammad Amir has made a dramatic comeback on the international arena through his scintillating spells of fast and skillful bowling in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League. Seeing him bowl like this, various sections of the cricketing fraternity want him back in the Pakistan lineup once again. But before jumping to conclusions, this matter needs to be looked at from different angles.
There is no doubt about the skill set that Amir possesses but this issue comes at the very end of the process. Before taking a decision about Amir’s inclusion in the side, the selectors and the board should ask the current lot of the players as to whether they are comfortable playing beside a person who was once part of the tainted trio who brought Pakistan cricket into disrepute. They should have an equal say in this matter because even if one of the players is not in the right frame of mind while playing with him, then we have a serious issue within the side and that is never a good sign because cricket is a team game and the importance of playing as a unit is of vital importance to a team’s success.
Ideally players should be approached individually and ask about their consent on this matter and if possible work should be done to change their perception and find common ground but having said that no one should be pressurized to accept these changes and welcome the players with open arms straight away.
Although I am all for giving everyone a second chance because mistakes are a part of life but one should not forget the players who stepped it up and helped Pakistan cricket prosper against all odds during that troubled phase. If the inclusion of the tainted trio in the national side means that some of those players are excluded would not be good for their morale. This will also serve as an example for the emerging players that they could also get away easily after doing something wrong. This would not set a good precedent which is why I believe these players should be the render of the last resort and used as a backup plan when required most.
If and when the PCB and the selection committee do bring the tainted trio back they will have to be cautious as to how they handle the situation because they will have to answer all sorts of questions regarding their involvement in the game and the extent of their evolution into a better cricketer and more importantly a better human being.