Mohammad Amir Calls for Fresh Start as He Rejoins Pakistan Cricket After Spot-Fixing Saga

Mohammad Amir, the Pakistani fast bowler who has had his fair share of ups and downs, is eager to make an impact at the T20 World Cup in the Americas after an absence from the national team lasting three years and eight months. Having announced his retirement from international cricket back in 2020, Amir made an unexpected return to the game in March 2024 and subsequently featured for Pakistan in a T20I series against New Zealand.

Amir’s career has been heavily shadowed by a spot-fixing scandal that occurred during a Test match in England in 2010, an event that led to a five-year ban from the sport by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Despite this setback, Amir staged a successful return to international cricket in 2016 and played a crucial role in Pakistan’s victory at the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017.

Now 32, Amir is expressing frustration over the continuous references to his past transgressions by some former cricketers. “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 relayed during an interview with Hafiz Mohammad Imran on the latter’s YouTube channel.

The recent comeback for Amir saw him snare three wickets across four matches against New Zealand, with his best performance being a 2/13 figure in the second T20I. Nonetheless, questions have been raised about his inclusion in the team, with critics including the former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja calling for justification.

In the face of this criticism, Amir has defended his selection for the T20I side, attributing it to his compelling performances in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), the foremost domestic T20 competition in Pakistan. “There has been a lot of criticism by some people about me and Imad [another player] being selected without playing domestic cricket. I ask them, what is Pakistan’s premier domestic T20 event? The PSL. And both of us have played and performed in the PSL, in addition to appearing regularly in other leagues. So what is wrong with selecting us for the T20 format?” Amir pointed out, addressing the concerns voiced by naysayers.

The debate over Amir’s selection highlights the larger conversation around redemption and forgiveness in the realm of sports. As the fast bowler looks to leave his mark on the global stage once again, it remains to be seen whether his past will continue to shadow his present achievements, or if his on-field performances will pave the way for a new chapter in his cricketing journey.

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