Banned fast-bowler Mohammad Amir returned home on Sunday after serving a jail sentence at the Young Offenders’ Institute in the UK.
The 19-year-old bowler was released from the institute midway of his six-month jail sentence after he was convicted in the high-profile spot-fixing scandal which also involved former captain Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif — currently serving their sentences in the UK.
Amir avoided media spotlight as he arrived at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport in the wee hours of Sunday. His family members also refused to speak to the media. Television footage showed Amir sitting in a white car as the vehicle entered his residence.
The fast-bowler – who is also currently serving a five-year ban on all cricketing activities imposed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) – was accompanied by his solicitor Sajida Malik and was received by his father and brother who drove him to his Lahore residence at the Defence Housing Authority.
While Amir received the six-month sentence, former Test captain Butt was also sentenced to two and a half years for being the ‘orchestrator’ of the scam, while seamer Asif received a 12-month prison term for bowling a fraudulent no-ball.
The three cricketers were caught following a sting operation by a British tabloid during the England series in 2010 over their roles in a plan to bowl deliberate no-balls.
Unlike Butt and Asif, 19-year-old Amir, who pleaded guilty in the court trial, has drawn sympathy from the cricketing world with majority of former cricketers wanting another chance for the young pacer.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2012.