KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is sweating over left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir’s visa as the 24-year-old is the only member of the side yet to receive his visa.
Amir was involved in the infamous spot-fixing scandal along with Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif on Pakistan’s last tour of England and it was expected that he might face some backlash before and during the tour.
PCB positive Muhammad Amir will be granted visa for England tour
According to the PCB, the board applied for as many as 100 visas since the men’s national team, men’s A team and the women’s team will all be playing during the English summer.
“We applied for around a hundred visas for players and officials as three of our teams will be playing in England this time around. Almost all visas have arrived except for Amir’s, which is a bit concerning,” a senior PCB official told The Express Tribune.
“The board thought that Amir’s visa would arrive on Monday or on Tuesday but it didn’t,” he added. “PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan will now take up the issue with the England and Wales Cricket Board and relevant UK authorities so that the issue can be resolved as soon as possible.”
Junaid and Adil lined up as replacements
With Amir’s case hanging in the balance, the national selection committee is preparing a plan B in case his visa is rejected.
The national selectors are thinking of sending either Ehsan Adil or Junaid Khan in case Amir has to be dropped because of visa constraints.
Adil enjoyed a decent domestic season as he claimed 48 wickets in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy with UBL — the second-highest in the competition.
Amir submits UK visa application
Junaid’s omission, in particular, raised a few eyebrows as he is currently the most experienced pacer at the selectors’ disposal.
Broad has no problems facing Pakistan’s Amir
Stuart Broad has insisted he won’t have any issues playing against Amir should the he make his Test return at Lord’s next month.
“I don’t think any feelings will be dragged into this Test match from that one,” he said. “There are only four players in [this] England team from then, and Pakistan had a huge change-over.”
Turning to Amir’s possible return, Broad said: “I think he’s served his time. In terms of quality, I don’t think there is much doubt that he is up there with anyone. In 2010 he was a constant threat and man of the series. It swung round corners for him.”
However, citing the reaction of spectators at Lord’s to England all-rounder Ben Stokes’s controversial dismissal for obstructing the field in an ODI against Australia last year, Broad said spectators at the ‘home of cricket’ may not welcome back Amir.
“The crowd might be a different story,” he said. “There was a lively reaction to Stokes’s dismissal last year to Mitchell Starc, and it looked like a nasty atmosphere for a while.” (With additional input from AFP in London)
Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2016.
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