I don’t think Mohammad Amir should be allowed back into Pakistan team: Inzamam-ul-Haq

Pakistan’s former captain Inzamam ul Haq has advised the Pakistan Cricket Board to keep away tainted pacer Muhammad Amir from the national team.Amir has made a big impact in the first stage of the Bangladesh Premier League with his left arm bowling and generated a big debate on until when the national selectors can ignore his performances and keep him out of the Pakistan team.“I don’t think it would be a good idea to allow either Amir or the two other players involved in the spot fixing scandal back into the Pakistan team,” Inzamam said in an interview.

“I just feel that if Amir is selected again for the national team it will divert the focus of the other players away from cricket and there will be added pressure on them and Amir,” said Inzamam, who has played 120 Tests and 398 one day internationals. “I know from experience that if Amir is selected in the Pakistan team and when it goes to England, Australia or even India the media will just focus on him and it will mean problems in the dressing room,” he said. Inzamam said that he had nothing personal against anyone but the Pakistan cricket board had to decide on a policy regarding tainted players independent of even what the ICC says on this. “The PCB needs to be clear in its stance on players who have been involved in corruption and tarnishing the image of the country. Because playing for the national team is the highest honor for any athlete,” he added. He also noted that Amir would also face a lot of pressure and problems on his return. “I can imagine the questions that would be asked if Pakistan lost a close match or if he couldn’t perform at the right time. I can imagine the taunts from the crowd and all these things will only divert the attention of the team away from cricket,” Inzamam said. Amir has gone to play in the BPL after impressive performances in domestic matches since his five-year ban for spot-fixing expired in September. His two other partners in crime Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif have still not been permitted by the PCB to play in domestic cricket. Many former Pakistan stalwarts including Javed Miandad and Rashid Latif have opposed the return of the tainted trio to the national team while senior player Muhammad Hafeez last week claimed he didn’t accept a contract to play in the BPL as the franchise which approached him had already signed on Amir. Some other members of the Pakistan team are also said to be against giving Amir or the two other players a chance to play for Pakistan again. But in a clear divide many other former players believe that since Amir, Butt and Asif have served their punishments for spot fixing they deserve a second chance.

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