The comeback of Pakistan’s fast bowler Mohammad Amir into the national frame led to feedback which was both negative and positive but somehow, on the back of his good performances, Amir made it back into the fitness and training camp scheduled for cricketers.
In an interesting development, captain of the ODI side Azhar Ali and the professor Mohammad Hafeez have declined to take part in the camp in the presence of Mohammad Amir. The duo argued that Amir stained the country’s name and dignity which is whey he should not be allowed in the camp or the national side in the future. They had a meeting with coach Waqar Younis where they revealed their reservations but Waqar was unable to convince them and get them back into the camp.
Although it should be noted that yesterday PCB released a comprehensive press statement where they identified 8 relevant points regarding Amir’s integration into the Pakistan setup once again.
From the first day, Amir has admitted his guilt and has sought forgiveness from his country, his fans and from Pakistanis. He has cooperated with ICC Anti-Corruption Unit and with British Police investigators.
Amir was 19 years old when he was indicted. He came from a rural underprivileged background.
Both ICC and the British justice system were lenient towards Amir because of his remorse and cooperative conduct. As a result his jail sentence was reduced by six months. In contrast, the other accused, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif insisted on their innocence until they were sentenced by a British Court and served their full jail term.
After serving his sentence ICC allowed Amir to resume his cricket career at all levels. Nevertheless, PCB insisted on Amir going through a further rehabilitation programme for six months. Amir completed this programme which comprised lectures to junior teams warning them against corruption, sessions with psychologists and with senior players. During this period Amir was allowed to play Grade-II cricket.
After serving his six month probation, Amir has been participating in domestic first class cricket with success. He has also performed well in the BPL. Accordingly, Amir has been called to the fitness camp which will enable him to bond with national players. His selection for the national team, for which he is eligible,would depend on the selectors.
There are a few players and commentators who are opposed to his selection. We are reminding them that even Islam calls for forgiveness in such cases.
In the past, spot fixers and drugs cheats have been permitted re-entry in to the international arena after serving their sentence. They include Marlon Samuels, Herschelle Gibbs (Cricket), Tyson Gay (Athletics).
Chairman PCB recently called in Amir and told him that he needs to show modesty and discipline in his conduct as he would constantly be seen under a microscope. Amir agreed to behaving with contrition and respect and act as a role model for youngsters.