Shoaib Akhtar backs Amir’s return to national team

Former Pakistan fast pacer Shoaib Akhtar defended Mohammad Amir saying he should be allowed to return to the national team.

““I really understand, I really respect that criticism that once you destroy the country’s name, that he should not get a second chance, I respect that opinion, I think they are right,” said Akhtar while speaking to The National in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

“But at the same time, the other side, those people who say, ‘he has served his sentence, he has served his time in jail and if he does it again’, [then punish him], then I agree with those people as well,” the Rawalpindi Express added.

Amir, who completed his five-year ban in September this year, has been in red hot form ever since his return to the domestic circuit, and has already picked up nine wickets in six matches in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

Former greats like Rameez Raja, Sikandar Bakht, Javed Miandad and Inzamam raised their voice against the inclusion of the tainted player in the Pakistan team.

Mohammad Hafeez who is currently playing for Pakistan, also publicly expressed his displeasure of the idea of sharing the dressing room with the convicted players. He was one of the player who was included in the ODI team right after the  spot – fixing scandal.

Likes of former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram, Imran Khan along with Shoaib Akhtar believe otherwise, and have urged players to forgive the tainted trio who have already served their punishment.

However, Shoaib said Amir will have a tough time in gaining everyone’s trust.

“There will be a lot of mistrust in him, every time he is going to run in, there will be a billion eyes judging him,” said Shoaib.

“It’s not going to be easy on him, I don’t know whether he knows that or doesn’t. If I was in his place, God forbid I shouldn’t be, but I would have been so scared to be in his place now.”


NEO Web Desk

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