Spot-Fixing, Lost 9 Years: Pakistan Star Amir T20 World Cup Return

After facing a five-year ban and an additional isolation period of four years, Mohammad Amir expresses his frustration with the former Pakistani star cricketers for highlighting his involvement in the spot-fixing controversy that shook the cricket world in 2010. As the humiliation continues to haunt him, the 33-year-old Pakistani bowler is unable to make a comeback into the Pakistan cricket team’s squad for the forthcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.

At the age of 19 years, Amir upon receiving the confirmation from  Mohammad Asif and former skipper Salman Butt, deliberately bowled too many no-balls by stepping outside the crease during the test match against England. As a result, the scandal not only led to their imprisonment in the UK but also forced the ICC to impose a five-year ban between 2010 and 2015.

In 2020, Mohammad Amir announced his retirement from all formats of international cricket. Recently, Amir interacted with the media by revealing some facts about how he faced severe criticism for attempting a direct entry into the Pakistan team without participating in domestic cricket tournaments.

Mohammad Amir interacts with Media: Says Lost 9 Years of his life

During his recent interaction with the media, Mohammad Amir poses questions about his selection for the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 by highlighting the fact that he played domestic cricket along with another comeback cricketer Imad Wasim:

“It is a fact to be accepted. In recent times, there has been severe criticism happening around us. Particularly, about me and Imad getting selected without playing domestic cricket. We (Amir and Imad) have played so many T20 Leagues. What could be the biggest T20 domestic league than the Pakistan Super League? We both (Amir and Imad) have participated in PSL and other leagues regularly. What is wrong in selecting us for the T20 format? If the selectors had picked us for Tests or ODIs, then it would have been considered wrong.

Previously, I was the one who said that players should gain experience in domestic first class cricket and other tournaments to get selected for the Pakistan national cricket team. In contrast, we are playing only T20 cricket. Our form and fitness is there for all to witness.

I apologize for the biggest mistake I have committed. If you observe my cricketing career, I had to undergo a ban from 2010 to 2015, and later I took retirement from 2020 to 2024, so that I lost nine years. At the same time, I accept it is god’s decision and I have to move on with my life, said Amir.

Mohammad Hafeez asked Amir about his comeback:

Furthermore, Amir revealed that the former Pakistan test skipper, Mohammad Hafeez spoke with him last year to inquire, if he was planning to come out of his retirement or not:

“There is another news you need to know. I wanted to share with you all. It was so good of Hafeez. He was appointed as  the director of the Pakistan cricket team during that time. Hafeez asked that if I could still play for Pakistan. But, I conveyed him that it would be better to remain out of the international matches due to the uncertainty continuing in the cricket board and the national team”, said Mohammad Amir.

Conclusion:

After undergoing a five-year ban period, Mohammad Amir marked a successful return into the international cricket. In his comeback series against New Zealand in January 2016, Amir took 6 wickets in four matches (1 wicket in T20I series and 5 wickets in ODI series).

Also, he was the core player for Pakistan’s victory in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 finals against India in 2017 at Kennington Oval, London. Several Pakistani fans and former cricketers showered praises on him for taking 3 wickets in 6 overs (includes 2 maiden overs) by conceding just 16 runs in that match.

Despite making an impressive comeback, the former PCB chief Ramiz Raja and other Pakistani cricketers raised questions about offering him a second chance after involving in a spot fixing scam. Consequently, the disagreements fuelled up the ongoing controversies to his cricketing career, which forced to announce his retirement in 2020.

Particularly, Amir’s selection into the national cricket team without playing any domestic matches raised suspicions about the selection committee and process.

Although Amir was banned only for 5 years; his teammates Salman Butt (for 10 years) and Mohammad Asif (for 7 years), had to undergo a longer suspension period. After 14 years, once again the controversial incidents continues to cause anxiety for Amir, as he has been reminded of the same issue by the former players.

Through his recent conversation with the media, Amir wanted to convey that he has already paid the price for his mistake, which ruined several years of his international career. Mainly, Mohammad Amir set his target for the forthcoming series against Ireland and England, to prove his abilities and secure a spot in Pakistan’s squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2024. He realizes that he has made some bad decisions in his life

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