The Pakistan Cricket Board has confirmed that Amir will be “eligble” for national duty for next month’s New Zealand tour. Amir has completed his rehabilation programme after serving a five-year ban for being involved in the 2000 spot fixing scandal.
The only problem for Amir’s New Zealand tour is visa hurdle.
Since his return in the domestic cricket and follwed by Bangladesh premier League Amir has impressed everyone, but the PCB said that a final call on his international comeback ultimately rests with the slectors.
“After serving his six-month probation, Amir has been participating in domestic first class cricket with success,” the PCB said in a statement. “He has also performed well in the BPL. Accordingly, Amir has been called to the fitness camp which will enable him to bond with national players. His selection for the national team, for which he is eligible, would depend on the selectors.”
There has been some opposition over Amir’s slection in the national team as few big names in the team is against Amir’s return.
Mohammad Hafeez openly cricticised the decision to call back Amir in the team. Hafeez had earlier said that he refused to play for BPL franchise Chittagong Vikings to avoid Amir playing with him.
Former cricketer Rameez Raja aslo voiced against amir re-integration into the national team. The PCB, however, ignored their standing on Amir and urged players and fans to forgive the bowler.
The PCB, however, has fully endorsed Amir’s return, urging players and fans to forgive the bowler. “There are a few players and commentators who are opposed to his selection. But in the past, spot fixers and drugs cheats have been permitted re-entry into the international arena after serving their sentence. They include Marlon Samuels, Herschelle Gibbs, Tyson Gay [an American sprinter].”
Last week, Amir was named in the 26 member squad for a conditioning camp in Lahore ahead of the New Zealand tour. While, visa permitting, he could alos find a spot in the final squad, the PCB said Amir will continue undergoing rehabilation for another six months.
“PCB chairman [Shahryar Khan] 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 behave with contrition and respect and act as a role model for youngsters,” the PCB said.