Pakistan’s suspended Muhammad Amir is all set to resume his domestic cricket career – despite seven months still remaining in the expiration of his original ban – as the International Cricket Council (ICC) is ready to provide him an early reprieve, learnt The Express Tribune.
Amir flew to Dubai a few days back to have a one-on-one interview with ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) head Sir Ronnie Flannagan.
After the interview, Flannagan concluded that Amir deserved to be given the green signal to resume at least his domestic career before his five-year ban ends.
Flannagan even gave a presentation during the ICC Board meeting on how Amir has improved from the boy who cheated the game in 2010.
The fast-bowler made headlines as a teenager when he played an important part in helping Pakistan win their maiden World Twenty20 title in 2009, which was his first international cricket tournament.
He quickly evolved into a genuine match-winner, picking up 51 wickets in 14 Tests, 25 in 15 ODIs and 23 in 18 T20Is before he was banned along with teammates Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif in a spot-fixing case.
“Amir has cooperated a lot throughout all these years, both with the PCB and the ICC, which is why the boy deserves a chance to redeem his career,” stated a PCB official.
“He has tried to make amends for his mistake with his revelations in front of the ICC and has promised to come out clean. Amir was an exceptional case because he was very young and was one of the outstanding cricketers before getting banned.”
The official added that a number of teams are interested in hiring his services in domestic cricket.
Amir’s first domestic appearance may occur in the Super-Eight T20 Tournament, which will be the last event of the current domestic season. However, the dates of the event have not been finalised yet and may be staged after the World Cup.
However, there is also a perception among the current and ex-cricketers, fans and administrators that Amir should not be given a second chance to resume cricket.
Some of the domestic and discarded international cricketers feel that they have worked hard to get into some sort of reckoning and it would be unjust to them if Amir is chosen ahead of them.
Afghanistan, Ireland given 2019 World Cup boost
The ICC Board yesterday approved that Afghanistan and Ireland will join the 10 Full Members in the rankings-based qualification system for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
The top eight-ranked sides on the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings as at September 30, 2017 will qualify automatically for the 2019 event, while the bottom four will play in the 10-team ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 that will determine the final two teams in the line-up.
“Both Afghanistan and Ireland have excelled on and off the field in recent years, and this decision is a critical step forward to the ICC’s
aim of having more competitive teams in international cricket,” said ICC Chief Executive David Richardson.
“The decision also compliments the recent decision by the ICC Board to introduce opportunities for Associate and Affiliate Members to play Test cricket through the ICC Intercontinental Cup and ICC Test Challenge.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2015.
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