‘Already punished for spot-fixing, please…’: Mohammed Amir’s appeal to former Pakistani players | Cricket News

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NEW DELHI: Mohammed Amir‘s frustration with former Pakistani cricket stars continually bringing up his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal is understandable. Despite serving a five-year suspension and enduring an additional four years of international hiatus, the stigma of the scandal continues to haunt him.
“I have done penance for that big mistake and if you look at my career I was banned from 2010 to 2015 and took retirement from 2020 to 2024 so I have lost nine years but I accept it all as God’s will and I have moved on,” Amir told mediapersons in Karachi.
Amir’s involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, along with fellow players Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, cast a dark shadow over Pakistani cricket.
At the tender age of 19, Amir was implicated in deliberately over-stepping at the behest of Butt, as exposed by the ‘News of the World.’
The scandal not only led to their brief imprisonment in the UK, where fixing is considered a criminal offence, but also resulted in significant repercussions within the cricketing world.
Despite their subsequent return to the sport, the stain of the scandal remained indelibly etched in cricketing history.
The ICC banned them for five years between 2010 to 2015. Only Amir made a successful return to international cricket and was the hero of Pakistan’s Champions Trophy triumph over India in 2017 in the UK.
Amir’s retirement from all forms of international cricket in 2020, following reported disagreements with former PCB chief Ramiz Raja, added another layer to the ongoing controversy surrounding his career. Despite his comeback to the Pakistan team after serving his ban, questions persisted regarding the circumstances of his return.
Critics, including Ramiz Raja and some former Pakistani players, voiced concerns about the Pakistan cricket establishment granting Amir a second chance despite his direct involvement in corruption.
Moreover, there was criticism over Amir’s return to the national team without having played domestic cricket, raising eyebrows about the selection process and the message it sent regarding accountability and integrity in the sport.
“There has been a lot of criticism by some people on me and Imad being selected without playing domestic cricket,” he added.
Amir countered the critics by making it clear that PSL is a domestic tournament where he and another comeback man Imad Wasim have regularly played.
“I ask them what is Pakistan’s premier domestic T20 event? The PSL. And both of us (Imad) have played and performed in the PSL besides appearing regularly in other leagues. So what is wrong with selecting us for the T20 format.?
Amir said if the selectors had picked them for Tests or ODIs it would have been very wrong.
“I myself have always said players must get experience in domestic first class and other events to be considered for the national team. But in our case we are only playing T20 cricket and our form and fitness is there for all to see.”
He also confirmed that former Test captain, Muhammad Hafeez had called up him last year and inquired whether he would consider coming out of his retirement.
“It was nice of him (he was director of Pakistan team) and he said I could still play for Pakistan but I told him that given the uncertainty in the cricket board and team I would prefer to remain out of international cricket.”
(With PTI inputs)

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