Raring to return: Amir and cricket’s romance set to resume

Published: November 10, 2014
The revised code will specifically help Pakistan seamer Mohammad Aamer's early return to domestic cricket, likely in February next year. PHOTO: REUTERS

The revised code will specifically help Pakistan seamer Mohammad Aamer's early return to domestic cricket, likely in February next year. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Back in 2010, 18-year-old sensation Muhammad Amir had the world under his feet. The teenager was competing with the best in the business and coming out on top. He had just taken six wickets against England at Lords. But then, it all came crashing down.

Amir was charged a few months later for having deliberately bowled no balls in a plan masterminded by skipper Salman Butt and senior bowler Muhammad Asif along with bookie Mazhar Majeed in the same series in which he was jointly awarded the man of the match.

Wasim Akram’s heir-apparent had helped Pakistan to World Twenty triumph in 2009 at the beginning of his career and then went on to pick 51 wickets in Tests, 25 in ODIs and 18 in T20Is but a career that had promised dizzying heights was about to have its wings chopped off right after take-off.

The left-arm pacer pleaded guilty of spot fixing and was sentenced to six months in prison and given a five-year ban from the game he loved so much.

However, all the doom and gloom has now started to shed away with the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) board approving new anti-corruption codes which come into immediate effect. The changes allow banned players to return to domestic cricket under ‘special circumstances’ before the end of their ban.

For a player to return to domestic competition before the end of his ban, he would need the approval of the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ASCU) Chairman, along with the consent of the ICC and the relevant national cricket board.

“The revised code makes provisions for a banned player to gain an early return to domestic cricket under certain circumstances” said ICC Chairman N Srinivasan. “When exercising his discretionary powers in this regard, however, the chairman of the ACSU will consider a number of factors, including the level of remorse shown by the player, his/her cooperation with the ACSU’s education programme and/or if the player has helped the ACSU by disclosing all information that, in turn, has helped it to enforce the Anti-Corruption Code in respect of others engaged in corruption conduct.”

Amir itching to unleash himself

The move has understandably delighted Amir, whose ban was initially set to end in September 2015, and the player is raring to go out and play competitive cricket once again.

“I’ve suffered a lot in all these years. There is a fire burning in me and now I just want to go and unleash all that anger through my bowling,” Amir told The Express Tribune. “In the last few months, I’ve trained regularly to keep myself in shape in the hope of playing again soon. There are several offers for me on the table but I’ll make a decision after consulting my elders when I officially resume domestic cricket.”

Amir vowed to come back stronger than ever before, stressing that the time he has been forced to spend off the field has helped him grow into a man. “I want to make a grand comeback into international cricket and surely I’ll be a better cricketer than I was before,” he said. “My family, friends and lawyers Gareth Pierce and Sajida Malik stood by me in the tough times and I’m really thankful to them,” he added. “I’m also thankful to the PCB, especially Najam Sethi because he took up my case again and it was fast-tracked from there on, while the ICC also helped me in my rehabilitation. It couldn’t have been possible without all this support and it’s a day of celebration for me.”


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Reader Comments (15)

  • Waseem Sarwar
    Nov 10, 2014 - 6:23PM

    “ICC chairman Naryanaswami Srinivasan, himself suspended in India over a fixing scandal in a Twenty20 league”. lol.


  • Shah
    Nov 10, 2014 - 10:01PM

    In an ideal world Amir shouldn’t be allowed to bowl again in international cricket but yes when even the ICC chairman is involved in fixing, then may be do some fixing legal like spot fixing and eventually may Cricket becomes WWE


  • shd
    Nov 10, 2014 - 10:18PM

    I don’t want to see him again in the international cricket. Such corrupt players don’t deserve a place in the sport that people love so much. What should have happened is that the rules must have been tightened rather than relaxed. Only, by having stern rules can we stem such unscrupulous elements from contaminating the gentlemen game.


  • Salman Hasan
    Nov 11, 2014 - 1:08AM

    Belonging to such a modest family background and at such a young age, it was not all his fault. He thought by listening to his Captain, he will protect his place and career in team. Later on he regretted his actions and should have approached PCB and ICC for being pursued by these corrupt players and mafia. After all these years of rehabilitation and suffered pain and humiliation, he should be given another chance. He was only 18 years old when they punished him, and not being educated about laws and how he could get into trouble for committing these mistakes. I support his return to international cricket.


  • LOK
    Nov 11, 2014 - 2:08AM

    Welcome back Aamir.


  • salman
    Nov 11, 2014 - 2:24AM

    why in the world he shouldn’t be allowed in any ideal world ? Are you on high or what ? He has served a jail term and is going through his punishment period in this very ideal world so how in the world he shouldn’t be allowed to play cricket when he has faced his term ? No power in the world can than stop him from playing cricket. Had he not faced the music of punishment than one can argue about the “ideal” world.


  • Junaid Ahmad
    Nov 11, 2014 - 2:59AM

    I do not think it would have been fair if he was not allowed to play cricket again. You have to realize that he was only 18 years old when this incident happened and the greed of money has manipulated stronger people before.


  • Ali
    Nov 11, 2014 - 5:17AM

    I can not wait for Amirs return to international cricket. He has payed enough for his mistake and deserves another chance. I wholeheartedly prey for his return to Pakistan team.


  • Imtiazhamid
    Nov 11, 2014 - 7:24AM

    Everybody deserves a second chance . Especially when you have paid your dues. Vindictiveness does not belong in sports. Most people have skeleton in their closets. Do notbe holier than…….


  • nadeem
    Nov 11, 2014 - 7:41AM

    What anger Amir? You should be angry with yourself and your acquaintances.You disgraced a nation yet you still have the audacity to project youself as a victim. While i am in favour of giving a repenting soul (you) a second chance in life but for that the change in attitude(s) is necassary.


  • Arif
    Nov 11, 2014 - 8:36AM

    What a joke. People who disgraced the green flag are invited to TV shows as experts. We are morally so corrupt that this type of behavior does not bother us. These three stooges should not be given a chance to play again. I still remember the humiliation we all suffered the day this story was revealed. We have such a short memory.


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Nov 11, 2014 - 8:37AM

    He should never be allowed to play professional cricket. His presence in team will destroy reputation of others.


  • JB
    Nov 11, 2014 - 3:58PM

    I believe he should be given a second chance. Everyone makes mistakes and he had the guts to accept it from the start unlike Asif and Butt who continued denying any wrong doings till all options were exhausted. Amir was just 18 at the start of his career. Asif had numerous chances and Butt is from an educated background, was the captain and knew exactly what he was doing.


  • Zaki
    Nov 12, 2014 - 9:05PM

    Warne was banned for 2 years then he came back so as Samuels and few others. Although Warne was not charged with fixing but he did cheat cricket as well… whats the difference?

    I like Amir to come back again but not before he prove himself in domestic that he is still that effective. He needs to play atleast 1-2 years of domestic season before making a come back…


  • asghar
    Nov 14, 2014 - 1:57AM

    Such a rubbish comment. U can not generalize the situation provided that how he accepted his guilt a said sorry over it. it was a trap by the other three master minds.


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