Pakistan need Amir, Asif for World Cup: Imran

By AFP
Published: December 10, 2010

Former captain Imran Khan believes Pakistan’s chances at the cricket World Cup will depend on the verdict reached against bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir in the spot-fixing inquiry. PHOTO: AFP FILE

Former captain Imran Khan believes Pakistan’s chances at the cricket World Cup will depend on the verdict reached against bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir in the spot-fixing inquiry. PHOTO: AFP FILE Imran Khan (C) speaks as former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga (R) and moderator Allan Wilkins (L) look on during the World Cup 2011 press conference in Delhi. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s chances at the World Cup will depend on the verdict reached against fast-bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, said former captain Imran Khan. Amir and Asif, along with former Test captain Salman Butt, face charges of spot-fixing during the England tour.

An International Cricket Council tribunal is due to hear the case in the Qatari capital of Doha from January 6.

“We must wait for the verdict on Amir and Asif,” said Imran.

“They are the best opening bowling pair in the world. We need to know about their future because if these two bowlers play, it gives Pakistan a good chance at the World Cup.

“Amir is the best young bowling talent in the world. I have seen him closely and I can say he is streets ahead of Wasim Akram.”

“Without these two bowlers, our attack is not potent.”

Imran, in New Delhi to promote the World Cup, backed Pakistan’s one-day captain Shahid Afridi to imbue the team with confidence.

“Pakistan are a very unpredictable side,” said the 58-year-old. “They will have to play out of the ordinary to make a mark at the World Cup.

Afridi is the only player who can pull the team together. If he has a purple patch, he can carry the team with him.”

Imran, who led Pakistan to victory in the 1992 World Cup in Australia, said a team could succeed with only two star performers, provided the other players rallied around them.

Imran, regarded as one of cricket’s finest all-rounders, picked India and Sri Lanka as the pre-tournament favourites but warned teams to guard against the pressure and expectations from fans.

“In 1983, the West Indies were by far the best team, but they came under pressure from India in the final and lost the Cup.”

The World Cup is to be co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from February 17 next year.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (37)

  • affie
    Dec 9, 2010 - 7:24PM

    Imran is right about Amir N Asif
    but ICC plans are showing otherwise…………..Recommend

  • Dec 9, 2010 - 7:30PM

    I totally agreed with Imran khan views,but i think aamir and asif couldn’t be in the world cup squad because few days before ICC chief Haroon Logart says”I will be very dissopoint if these players survive from the evidence which is we had”.Now imagine yourself how could be they in the team for the worldcup!!!…Recommend

  • Dec 9, 2010 - 8:01PM

    I am sorry Imran Khan is not right on this issue. Players like Kamran Akmal, Asif, Amir, Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat, etc have been instrumental in damaging the already poor image of Pakistan. He is right that the Patron in Chief, Chairman PCB, Selection Comm, former Manager Yawar, Asst Manager Shafqat Rana, Wasim Bari etc are responsible for this mess and bringing disrepute to our cricket. Recommend

  • Copper
    Dec 9, 2010 - 8:42PM

    Its better to loose World Cup then to loose respect. Asif has been found to be indulged multiple times in such activities. We should await the result of inquiry and ban them for life if found guilty. Recommend

  • Anoop
    Dec 9, 2010 - 9:01PM

    I wont be surprised if PCB take the 2 bowlers even if they are not cleared of the charges.Recommend

  • Shahzaib
    Dec 10, 2010 - 1:06AM

    Haroon lorgat’s statement is contrary to the concepts of due process! He should be neutral until the verdict is out, even if they are guilty! Recommend

  • Talha Bin Masood
    Dec 10, 2010 - 1:26AM

    @Anoop
    Are you sleeping boy? PCB have even not included those players in the squad which are suspicious of having a link with that all spot-fixing case i.e. Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik…..how could PCB pick Amir and Asif……??Recommend

  • Nadeem Muazzmy
    Dec 10, 2010 - 5:01AM

    very well said Great IK……… Recommend

  • Rizwan
    Dec 10, 2010 - 8:49AM

    Do not compromise; on corruption for sake of those stars that spoil the name of country; (Imran is just highlighting the importance of these players for Pakistan cricket) players come and go in the team and this country is filled with the talent, let the clean-talent assume charge.Recommend

  • hassan ali
    Dec 10, 2010 - 12:39PM

    imran is true and pakistani team realy need vthese guysRecommend

  • hassan ali
    Dec 10, 2010 - 12:41PM

    these guys r the pillars of pakistani team so they should be in the team in the world cupRecommend

  • Anoop
    Dec 10, 2010 - 12:44PM

    @Rizwan,

    But, they have not banned them,have they! PCB has a history of banning and then unbanning players. They protected the likes of Wasim Akram,etc during 99-98 when other boards banned players based on mere suspicion.

    Ajay Jadeja was banned even though there was insufficient evidence but was proven not guilty by the Supreme Court.

    Wahab Riaz was seen taking large amounts of money from the book maker. The video is very clear. He is in the team.

    I rest my case.Recommend

  • Amer
    Dec 10, 2010 - 2:03PM

    Let’s wait and see the outcome, Salman, Asif and Aamir are not even allowed in the PCB premises at the moment. Kamran Akmal, Imran Farhat and Shoaib Malik have not been picked for the team. Even if the allegations are true against Aamir, many in the cricketing world have asked not to hand him a life ban, it would be very inappropriate.

    @Anoop: Your reasoning is falwed, Ajay Jadeja was not banned on mere suspicion. And you failed to mention Saleem Malik, he was banned by PCB. Maybe your memory is selective. Recommend

  • Talha Khan
    Dec 10, 2010 - 3:30PM

    It’s not the end of the world when Aamir and Asif are not in the team. They should not be given any leverage to manipulate the success of Pakistan cricket .We need players with good character and respect, who represents Pakistan all over the world with dignity. Pakistan has full of talent with courageous players, we definitely need world cup but we need it with grace.

    At least Imran khan should not follow the corrupt people in Pakistan as he always do and then start supporting his ideas with false statements. There is a big responsibility lies on him for his commitment. Recommend

  • Dec 10, 2010 - 4:00PM

    It is a good view of imran. Amir and Asif should be in worldcup. They could help pak a lot in winning world cup 2011, other wise their is no chance of winning world cup without these 2 talented opening bowling pair………..Recommend

  • Anoop
    Dec 10, 2010 - 7:04PM

    @Amer,

    AJ’s evidence didnt match up. Supreme Court forced BCCI into honorably accept him. He later played for Delhi for 2 or so years before he retired.

    Salim Malik was at the end of his career. The likes of Wasim Akram were,for instance, not and not banned. They were ‘fined’.

    Weren’t Yousuf and Younis banned “indefinitely”? Its not even been 6 months when one of them was recalled.

    Indefinitely according to PCB means whenever we need their services.

    And, a ball-biter who deserved a ban of around 6 months(atleast) was rewarded with the Captaincy. The first time I saw the video I thought Shahid Afridi had gone insane and had thought the ball was an apple!Recommend

  • Bilal
    Dec 10, 2010 - 9:35PM

    Imran n asif should b in squad as imran said they are best bowling attac! Asad safeeq n shoaid mailk can play vital role in batting! although imran nazir not performed so well in domestic but must be in squad, coz world cup r going to held in batting pitches, Muhammad yousuf n younis khan must also in squad but ther forms n fitness will consider. Hafeez, Malik n Afridi need to play a big role in spin bolwing coz of spin wickets in srilanka n india as well. Seed Ajmal should be in squad but not in playing list! Bating order of razaq n afridi would also very important! Misbah need not to be in squad coz his shorts selctions is not so gud, even there is full toss ball,he would duck it if he pre plan to do so….if kamran akmal get clearness then well n gud if not, umer akmal should chose for wicket kipping rahter then else
    ther pak will win if there will following players will be in playing list
    1. Imran Nazir
    2. M. Hafeez
    3. Muhammad yousaf or Yunis khan
    4. Shoaib Malik
    5. Asad shafeeq
    6. Shahid Afridi
    7. Abdual Razzaq
    8. Muhammad Asif
    9. Muhammad Amir
    10. Umer gul
    11. Umer akmal or kamran akmalRecommend

  • Amer
    Dec 11, 2010 - 12:18AM

    @Anoop: Dude, you are bending the facts again. Afridi was the captain when he bit the ball, he wasn’t made a captain afterwards. One thing I don’t get is why are Indians always start jumping in left, right and center like yo yo’s, so what, he bit the ball, big deal, HE WAS PUNISED BY ICC, why would anyone expect anything more, lets move on. The pressures of captaincy got to the best of legends in cricket. I am in no way corroborating what Afridi did though, it was wrong, but why blow it out of proportion. he’s been already punished for it, case closed.
    Yousuf and Younis were banned “indefinitely” NOT in anyway because of spot or match fixing etc, but because of infighting in the team and performance issues. PCB is run by a person who is appointed by the President of the country and hence the appointment is in no way on merit but on personnal favor, so as soon as the team looses a series etc the pressure is on the PCB chairman, who replaces the captain. That’s the mess PCB is in and Imran Khan has explained it very well today. That in no way implies that these guys were cheating! You are making that part up. Don’t you think Waseem Akram would have been investigated by the ICC if he had done anything wrong? ICC is ultimately responsible for keeping the game clean. Waseem is a legend of the game, it’s a shame you have to drag his name into this rubbish! Recommend

  • Dec 11, 2010 - 10:25AM

    No, we do not need these cricketers who have been accused of WRONGDOING. This was evident on TV replays. What more evidence do we want???

    Amir is a young man who has been pushed into the limelight for all the wrong reasons. He must have been ‘brain washed’ on the hackneyed statement of the PCB, ” youngest fast bowler”. He should play league cricket, go to college, educate himself, learn some common coutesies and then re-enter cricket after five years at the age of 24 or 25.

    As for Asif, the people of Pakistan should remember that drug money, like bookie money, has a lot of dependencies and connections. Money troubles follow him in cricket. So he resorts to embracing socially and sports prohibited pharmaceuticals. The fact that he cannot enter UAE is that not enough???

    Imran should put his foot where his mouth is. Remember Pakistanis, the world waits for no one and meets nobody half way.

    Food for thought. Bangladesh players are all muslims. How come they are not involved in any wrongdoing and narcotics? They are welcome anywhere and cricketing nations readily go to Bangladesh.

    Salams and best wishes.Recommend

  • Rehan
    Dec 11, 2010 - 11:42AM

    @Anoop
    Dude if suresh Raina can play then why not amer and asif? there case ain’t any different.. perhaps it is still to be decided if they are guilty..lot of loopholes in that little video clips plus there are proofs with players to prove there innocence..so lets wait and watch..I know Haroon logart is gonna get very DISAPPOINTED!Recommend

  • Anoop
    Dec 11, 2010 - 5:36PM

    @Amer,

    “Afridi was the captain when he bit the ball, he wasn’t made a captain afterwards.”:

    –> He was the One-day captain not the Test team. Even so would you not consider that cheating, in a very obviously, moronic way, in front of 23 cameras? Would like a man like that to captain a team in all formats of the game.

    “Yousuf and Younis were banned “indefinitely” NOT in anyway because of spot or match fixing etc, ”

    –> Ofcourse not. I merely took their example of what value PCB attaches to bans and how “punishments” are carried out.

    “Don’t you think Waseem Akram would have been investigated by the ICC if he had done anything wrong?”

    –> Even Ajay Jadeja was not under investigation by the ICC but BCCI took the bold step to not to let him play as that would injure the integrity of the team by including a tainted member. Just because ICC didnt find initiate any proceedings doesn’t cover up the fact that his name was one which came out during CBI investigation. PCB covered up the issue. Even now Wasim Akram doesn’t talk about it, and trust me Indian channels have tried to talk to him.

    “Waseem is a legend of the game, it’s a shame you have to drag his name into this rubbish!”

    –> I like him too. He is more of an Indian now than Pakistani if you observe his activities. He spends a lot of time here and works for various media houses here. He even brought his wife to get treated at Chennai before she died.

    “Dude if suresh Raina can play then why not amer and asif?”

    –> Raina can be best accused of being horny and his genitals doing the thinking for him. He hasn’t thrown his wicket away or let a few balls past him or bowled a magnanimous no-ball(TWICE) or was seen socializing with a bookie. Recommend

  • Suleman
    Dec 11, 2010 - 10:11PM

    @Reham
    Trust me Haroon Lorgat is not going to get very DISAPPOINTED because the BCCI has such an impact on the ICC that the BCCI makes the ICC dance on their tune.
    India is one place which is the cause of damaging the integrity of cricket because most of the bookies are accomodated in India also a prime example is Lalit Modi he was the chairman of IPL (where most of the illegal betting takes place) and look at him now!
    India is just trying to ban pakistan from playing cricket by targeting their best bowlers and test captian.
    IF WE PAKISTANI’S CARRY ON SUPPORTTING OUR TEAM THEN PAKISTAN WILL BE ONE OF THE TOP CONTENDERS IN THE WORLD!Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Dec 12, 2010 - 6:47PM

    Yes, Afridi is right and correct when he says that “we need Amir and Asif” for world cup. I will really feel very sorry if this kid Amir is found guilty of any wrong doing. If he even did any wrong it must have been due to the seniors who always treat their juniors in a bully way. If it is so then he must come out openly with true facts. PCB must protect this “Gem”. Recommend

  • hizam
    Dec 13, 2010 - 7:40PM

    with them we neen imran nazir to playRecommend

  • Emad
    Dec 15, 2010 - 9:42AM

    what a power of one newspaper? news published and players punished wow !!Recommend

  • rehan
    Dec 15, 2010 - 12:26PM

    @ anoop
    i admire your confidence..but do you know socializing with bookies is against code of conduct of ICC? it can cause a 6 month ban..of course if your an Indian you have an immunity
    again u have missed out on no balls. we do that in common, to threaten a batsman it is a way to ball over step and bounce. Perhaps if you had seen video carefully you would know that Amir bowled from other side of wicket instead of what mazhar majeed told. And one thing i could never understand how did mazhar majeed knew pakistan is gonna bowl ?
    one more thing NO ONE BETS ON NO BALLS..
    @ Suleman
    lets see bro, for now Haroon logart is doing good lapdance for indians..maybe he will get some extra for this :DRecommend

  • Anoop
    Dec 15, 2010 - 1:06PM

    “Perhaps if you had seen video carefully you would know that Amir bowled from other side of wicket instead of what mazhar majeed told.”

    –> lol. Sure if you say so.

    By the way Amir bowled 2 ,not just 1, no-balls right on the dot while the skipper was looking at the crease, when usually its the norm to look at the batsmen or the ball. Recommend

  • rehan
    Dec 15, 2010 - 6:57PM

    @ Anoop
    What does it prove if he bowled another no ball, my dear answer me one thing how did News of the world or Mazhar Majeed knew Pakistan will bowl first?
    about no balls..one is clear .second could be bowled mistakenly..since it was wet.. it is not a rocket science if skipper has to look at the batsman while bowler is on his run up..but any how it could be because he wanted to see the line(Umpired made some dumb decisions on no balls whole serious).
    If socializing with bookie is legal then it is nothing for sure!Recommend

  • Anoop
    Dec 15, 2010 - 9:00PM

    @rehan,

    Psychology says if a person is convinced about something then what ever he sees or hears, he turns it or molds it into to fit their world view.

    I am an Indian and might be accused of prejudice. But, Richard Edwards cannot be.

    Here, is what he tells us:”He(Mohammed Amir) was asked about a message he allegedly sent to Mazhar Majeed – the agent arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers – last Friday, saying “Shall I do it or not?”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/international/pakistan/7981155/Pakistan-cricket-trio-questioned-on-calls-texts-and-secret-accounts.html

    “ow did News of the world or Mazhar Majeed knew Pakistan will bowl first?”

    –> That question is immaterial. Majeed never talked about which innings Pakistan are going to bowl as far as my knowledge goes. He just said that in such and such over Amir will bowl no-balls. He had also predicted that in which over will Asif and Amir will bowl.

    If you add the 50k pounds found in Butt’s room, you can safely bet they are guilty.

    Richard Edwards further adds,”It has been reported that £50,000 cash was found in his room by police but he said the money, some in foreign currency, was to pay a dowry for his sister. Police are investigating whether the notes were those handed over by an undercover reporter. ”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/international/pakistan/7981155/Pakistan-cricket-trio-questioned-on-calls-texts-and-secret-accounts.html

    Wahad Riaz is clearly shown in the video accepting a jacket stuffed full of money. He is playing for Pakistan in the World Cup.Recommend

  • Rehan
    Dec 17, 2010 - 12:19AM

    @ Anoop
    //I am an Indian and might be accused of prejudice. But, Richard Edwards cannot be.
    Here, is what he tells us:”He(Mohammed Amir) was asked about a message he allegedly sent to Mazhar Majeed – the agent arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers – last Friday, saying “Shall I do it or not?”//
    At first does it prove? if he texts shall i do it or not, he was his agent. there might be a contract under consideration (as you know Amir was in negotiations with a county team) ,,just to inform you. no bookmaker was defraud since no body bets on NO BALLS.
    //–> That question is immaterial. Majeed never talked about which innings Pakistan are going to bowl as far as my knowledge goes. He just said that in such and such over Amir will bowl no-balls. He had also predicted that in which over will Asif and Amir will bowl.
    If you add the 50k pounds found in Butt’s room, you can safely bet they are guilty.
    Richard Edwards further adds,”It has been reported that £50,000 cash was found in his room by police but he said the money, some in foreign currency, was to pay a dowry for his sister. Police are investigating whether the notes were those handed over by an undercover reporter. ”//
    this is very much material because he mentioned about the days of the game as well. And looking at how wickets fell on first day of Lords i belive ICC should have been more open to investigate both teams. about cash, i am disappointed that your not updated on this case perhaps as a hatter you had closed your eyes and ears . well cash wasn’t 50,000 Ponds ,,it was 29000, and salman butt has given explanation related to how he had that much money with him with proper evidence. u should visit cricinfo and details are still there for ur understanding.
    About wahab Riaz, how can u be sure the jacket he gave to wahab had money? had u see any while he was wearing it huh ..least he was not SOCIALIZING with a bookie..
    your looking at it with typical soap oprah mindset..get real mate..who would count money on table like that? Story was so week that they had to drop it after second weak and even tried to blackmail Yasir Hameed to help them out. If case wasn’t strong not Asif nor Salman would higher Aitzaz Ahsan or Cameron as lawyers. Recommend

  • Anoop
    Dec 17, 2010 - 3:02PM

    “At first does it prove?’

    –> Man, you are hell-bent on proving this wrong, even though all non-Pakistani this is as right. Anyway, we’ll see that in detail.

    “,just to inform you. no bookmaker was defraud since no body bets on NO BALLS.”

    –> I’ll let the Telegraph answer this question for me. While talking about this event it says,”The allegations are not about match-fixing but “spot fixing” or “fancy fixing”, where the betting involves not the final result but small events within the game such as how many boundaries will be hit in a session, how many consecutive wides a bowler might bowl, or how many fielders will be wearing sun cream.”

    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1100830/jsp/frontpage/story_12872661.jsp

    “well cash wasn’t 50,000 Ponds ,,it was 29000, and salman butt has given explanation related to how he had that much money with him with proper evidence.”

    –> As far as my knowledge goes it was 50k. Even if was 29k, its big money! I think one pound is equal to 160(approx) Pakistani Rupees, so that would make it around 500k Pakistani Rupees. Mighty big amount to carry around dont you think for a player whose official salary for that year wont even come near that amount.

    The fact that such a big amount existed in his room doesn’t prove anything but in the view of things is very suggestive of foul play and raises a lot of questions.

    “About wahab Riaz, how can u be sure the jacket he gave to wahab had money?”

    –> Because the Reporter saw the money stuffed in the jacket before the bookie gave it to Wahab Riaz. I’ve seen the video of the Bookie stuffing the money into the jacket and walking over to the Pakistani player and handing it over to him.

    The Telegraph report, I cite above, backs me up: “More video footage could implicate two other players — Umar Amin and Wahab Riaz — whom Majeed is shown introducing to the reporter. The bookie then gives the duo a jacket, in which he had a while earlier stuffed £10,000 that the reporter had given him.”

    I am sure he was “Socializing(in capital letters)” with the bookie. But, he also took a jacket stuffed with Money the Reporter had given Majeed in the video.

    “Story was so week that they had to drop it after second weak and even tried to blackmail Yasir Hameed to help them out.”

    –> What do you think. Pakistani Cricket team corruption news will run for ages? Even Pakistani floods weren’t discussed in the International media for more than 2 weeks, forget about “spot fixing” charges of a bunch of inconsequential Cricketers.

    By the way, nobody forced Yasir Hameed to speak out or tried to blackmail him. He has a VERY big mouth. If you see the video you will understand.

    “If case wasn’t strong not Asif nor Salman would higher Aitzaz Ahsan or Cameron as lawyers.”

    –> I dont know who they are but I hope they are really good lawyers. The 3 tainted players need them badly.Recommend

  • Maulana Diesel
    Dec 27, 2010 - 5:48AM

    we don’t need these players to beat India. Team India just got destroyed by S Africa. At least we drew our test matches with them without our best team.Recommend

  • kamal
    Dec 30, 2010 - 4:31PM

    @Maulana..you spoke too soon..now eat your words..its 1:1 against SA and India in no 1 test side.Jai hind..Recommend

  • Anoop
    Dec 30, 2010 - 10:14PM

    Kamal, do not forget to add that we bowled out SA under 4 days on a grassy wicket. Recommend

  • umair
    Jan 8, 2011 - 9:39PM

    anoop i totally agree with you, india donot have a match wining bowler except,, and india made a propaganda against Pakistani crickters and they are successfull in their planing so far… india is totaly afraid of amer and asif both are match winnig bowlers and india cannot see Pakistan to be progressed. Recommend

  • Anoop
    Jan 9, 2011 - 2:31AM

    @umair,

    There is no way India can draw a Test Series on bouncy, grassy wickets against the 2nd best Test team in the World without a match winning bowler. Also, its better to have non-star bowlers than to have cheats in the team who bite the ball, throw matches for money and would probably sell their own daughters for money like they sold their country by spot-fixing.

    “india is totaly afraid of amer and asif both are match winnig bowlers and india cannot see Pakistan to be progressed.”

    –> Cant you guys think beyond India? The match happened in England, the bookie is from England, the cheating players are from Pakistan, the newspaper is a British newspaper and India is to blame!

    I bet you think India is behind Shahid Afridi ‘eating’ the ball. Probably BCCI had hypnotized him to mistake a Cricket ball for an Apple.

    Amir and Asif have loads of talent, but they are traitors and not fit to play the Gentleman’s game. This tolerance to unprincipled behaviour is pushing your country into this hole.Recommend

  • Jan 22, 2011 - 7:57PM

    Pakistan can win in the World Cup if they are having a team like this; 1.M.Hafeez 2.Salman Butt 3.Younis Khan 4.Misbah-ul-haq 5.Umer Akmel 6.Shahid Afridi 7.Abdur Razzaq 8.M.Amer 9.Umer Gul 10.Saeed Ajmal 11.Shoaib AkhterRecommend

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