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Some players and commentators ‘oppose Amir’s selection in Pakistan side’: PCB

LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday stated that some players and commentators oppose pacer Mohammad Amir’s selection in the national side.

PCB, in its statement, stated that there are a few players and commentators who are opposed to his (Amir) selection. We (PCB) are reminding them that even Islam calls for forgiveness in such cases.

Mohammad Amir, along with Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, were banned and jailed over a 2010 spot-fixing scandal in England. The trio was accused of arranging deliberate no-balls during the Lord’s Test against England in return for money in August 2010.

It should be noted that Amir was fined for having a verbal spat with Faisal Iqbal during a domestic game.

Mohammad Hafeez earlier had refused to play along side Amir in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

He was recently drafted into the Karachi Kings side for the inaugural Pakistan Super League (PSL) which will be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next year.

PCB stated Mohammad Amir had passed through a gradual process of rehabilitation and re-education after serving his sentence. The cricket board stated that the fast bowler had admitted his guilt and sought forgiveness from the country, fans and the Pakistanis.

Amir was 19 years old when he was indicted and came from a rural underpriviledged background, PCB stated.

The cricket board added that the International Cricket Council (ICC) and British justice system were lenient towards the fast bowler due to his cooperative conduct.

“As a result his jail sentence was reduced by six months”, he added.

“In contrast, the other accused, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif insisted on their innocence until they were sentenced by a British Court and served their full jail term”, the statement read.

After serving his sentence ICC allowed Amir to resume his cricket career at all levels. PCB added that insisted on Amir going through a further rehabilitation programme for six months.

“Amir completed this programme which comprised lectures to junior teams warning them against corruption, sessions with psychologists and with senior players. During this period Amir was allowed to play Grade-II cricket”, the board stated.

PCB added that the left armer has been participating in domestic first class cricket with success and also performed well in the BPL. The statement also mentioned that Amir has been called to the fitness camp which will enable him to bond with national players.

The country’s cricket governing body mentioned that it will be upto the selectors to decide whether Amir will play in the national side or not.

“In the past, spot fixers and drugs cheats have been permitted re-entry in to the international arena after serving their sentence. They include Marlon Samuels, Herschelle Gibbs (Cricket), Tyson Gay (Athletics)”, PCB stated.

PCB stated that the board’s chairman recently called in Amir and told him that he needs to show modesty and discipline in his conduct as he would constantly be seen under a microscope. Amir agreed to behaving with contrition and respect and act as a role model for youngsters.

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