Should Amir be fast-tracked into the team?

Should Amir be fast-tracked into the team?


Hasan Ansari November 17, 2014

Earlier this week, Mohammad Amir gave an interview about how hopeful he was of returning to the cricketing fold once his ban concludes in September 2015. This interview comes on the heels of the news that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has approved a few changes to its anti-corruption code which would allow banned cricketers to return to domestic cricket before the completion of their suspension.

In the interview Mohammad Amir came across as the wunderkind that he has been regarded as. But it is this thought that keeps him under the impression that his return to the national team and international arena will be really swift.

But the question that should be asked right now is this: will he be able to return with the same impact that he had before the ban? There aren’t many case studies of cricketers returning to top-level cricket after a lengthy suspension except for Marlon Samuels who, too, had his burgeoning career cut short after he was slapped with a two year ban in May 2008 when found guilty of “receiving money, or benefit or other reward that could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute”.

Samuels, who was immediately reinstated into the team after his ban ended, as a cry for help from the West Indies Cricket Board, did not start performing instantly upon his return but took almost a year to re-acclimatise to the game.

But, of course, to compare the travails of Amir to that of Marlon Samuels would be unfair as in the case of Samuels, the time off was far shorter than the five years that Amir had been serving.

In the years gone by since the Spot Fixing saga of 2010, Pakistan has arguably lost one of the finest new ball pairs in Amir and Asif but have unearthed a pace battery of sorts with the emergence of Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali, Imran Khan and the equally talented Junaid Khan. Therefore, it is debatable whether Amir can leapfrog the current pecking order to return to the national team.

The important question here is whether Amir should be allowed to return to the team. Many would say no, arguing that a player who has brought both the game and should be made an example out of but shouldn’t a person who has served his sentence be given a shot at rehabilitation?

Published in The Express Tribune, November 17th, 2014.

COMMENTS (4)

Jamor | 7 years ago | Reply

“The argument put across in Amir’s favour is that his talent was compromised at a young age due to poor judgement and his naivete, and because he comes from a poor family.”

“If that is the case, there are millions of other Pakistani youth who have had a tough start in life, and less than ideal upbringings.” "Does that give them a licence to use underhanded means and cheat to make a living? In fact, to quote an incident, I was approached to find out why Amir had turned down a more-than-decent offer made to him by an English county just a day before he was caught,” said Raja.

“During my conversation with him regarding the offer, I realised that because the offer was a few thousand pounds short of what he expected, he was willing to let go of an opportunity to play and establish himself at a renowned and historic county. I came to the conclusion that he was not, after all, so gullible and naive about money matters.” This is what Wasim Raja had to say on the Amir matter.If he was average bowler he would be consigned to the dustbin of history

Spinoff | 7 years ago | Reply

@arifq i think you need to do some more research before passing judgements on Amir. As mentioned by JD Amir comes from a very poor background, was 18 and was influenced and pressured by the team captain. He was the first person to ask forgiveness and that also in front of the press. He didnt deny and play innocent like Butt and asif. Butt even passed some stupid remark that his innocence can be proved by an ice cream parlour only to later admit and seek forgiveness. More importantly Its not like Aamir has been spared punishment, he has paid for his crimes and have every right to return to play cricket and earn his livelihood. We cant condemn a 17/18 year old and write off his life.

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