By Ali Martin in London/The Guardian
Pakistan are ready to consider Mohamed Amir for an international recall with their coach, Waqar Younis, and board chairman, Shaharyar Khan, stating that the controversial left-arm fast bowler is ready to be granted a second chance.
Amir has not played for Pakistan since the 2010 Lord’s Test against England when, aged 18, he was part of a spot-fixing scam that saw himself, fellow seamer Mohamed Asif and then captain Salman Butt banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and serve time in prison.
The youngest bowler to reach 50 Test wickets before his suspension, Amir returned to competitive cricket in Pakistan in March and has been one of the standout players for Chittagong Vikings in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League.
“We are considering Amir for the national team but we will call him and guide him to keep a modest and humble behaviour,” Shaharyar said in Lahore. “We will tell Amir that people will notice his behaviour. His performance has been very good recently. He is knocking on the door for a recall into the national side.
“There are small complications in his return but we will forge a policy to counter them. If the chief selector names him in the team we will ask the board of governors to give him a positive nod,” he added.
Asked about the PCB chairman’s comments, coach Waqar said: “There is no wrong in bringing him back into the team. He has proved it to the PCB and the International Cricket Council that he deserves a second chance.”
Amir’s return to the international side, which could come against India this month should their mooted limited-overs series in Sri Lanka go ahead, may not be welcomed by members of the national side.
Mohamed Hafeez recently said he had turned down a contract at the same the BPL team, Chittagong, as he did not want to share a dressing room with the left-arm seamer.
“I am not against any individuals,” Hafeez said. “It is about the image of Pakistan cricket. I cannot play with any player who has tarnished and brought a bad name to the country. We play for the public and entertain them with a sporting spirit, and once someone abuses the role he has to play in the game. I cannot play and share a dressing room with such players who have abused the spirit of the game.”
Asked about Hafeez’s stand, Shaharyar replied: “I think what we need to do is have a meeting with Amir, selectors, team management and the players to sort things out and make some things very clear to Amir.”
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