Mohammad Aamir, we want you back!
Not too long ago, Pakistan witnessed the début of one of the most talented and mesmerising young bowlers in the history of cricket. An aspiring teenager who, at the age of 17, had begun bowling for his country in all formats of cricket. Yes, I am talking about the very promising Mohammad Aamir.
I don’t think anyone has been able to forget what a match-winner this lad had proven to be. Who can forget those deadly spells that played a significantly important part in winning us the World T20 in 2009, or the sight of a 17-year-old showing Sachin Tendulkar the way back to the pavilion?
Suffice to say that numerous flashbacks will keep flowing in – including some very unwanted ones.
In the summer of 2010, Aamir was found guilty of deliberately bowling two no-balls against England in the Lords Test match. The left-arm fast bowler who was at the peak of his career at the time, claims that he was forcefully asked to bowl the no-balls by Mazhar Majeed – a British sporting agent and a bookmaker who played the ‘lead role’ in the spot-fixing story.
Aamir is seen giving an explanation in his latest interview on September 5, in Geo News’ “Bolain Kya Baat Hai”:
“On one hand he (Majeed) was telling me that a report about me had gone to the ICC, and on the other, that he wanted me to bowl two no-balls for him. I was panicking so much that it didn’t even occur to me how ridiculous it was. I thought that they were saving me and if I don’t do it, it might be a problem for me. “
No doubt, the news of the spot-fixing scandal came as a shock to the world, and Pakistan was, yet again, let down by its golden boys. However, dismay and shame took over when Aamir was handed over a five-year ban by the ICC; Pakistan realised that it had lost a priceless gem.
Who would’ve thought that a gifted teenager from Punjab would walk into the cricket field one day, stun the world with his monumental talent and then knock himself down completely? Surely, he came, he saw, he conquered ─ and he left. Now this is where the buck stops.
“Although I was a good student, I quit school for cricket. Now that I don’t have cricket, I don’t have anything.” says Amir, who now feels helpless every time he watches cricket on TV. ” One day I was on top of the world, and the next day I had come crashing down.”
Is it over for him? Is this a full-stop to his cricketing career just like Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt?
Well the answer is probably, no.
You may ask me why I exhibit sympathy towards someone who disgraced their country and the game of cricket?
To that, all I have to say is that Aamir was young and he made a mistake. Please show me a person who never made one.
Soon after he was charged, the teenager didn’t think twice before admitting to the world what he had done and how apologetic he was. He has been seen in some interviews and other television appearances stating that he had made a mistake; he is quite literally pleading for forgiveness.
“I’ve learnt from my mistakes. I cannot explain the pain I go through each day. It hurts to see the team play and then realise I can’t be part of that. I messed it all up because of one mistake. But I apologise for that and promise that if I’m given another chance, I will put in all my effort with sincerity and honesty.”
It breaks my heart to see genuine tears on Aamir’s face. I believe in him and I believe he is sorry for what he has done. Hasn’t he been punished enough? What is humanity if people aren’t given a second chance? What kind of a nation would we be if we cannot exhibit forgiveness – a trait of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) and a beautiful name of Allah (SWT). Mohammad Amir deserves a second chance.
Let’s face facts; Pakistan has not and will not see a fast bowler as talented, gifted and astonishing as Mohammad Aamir. It is for this reason alone that the world can’t wait to hear about his comeback.
Although I can’t comment on the fate of Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, I have an inkling that this 20-year-old speedster could be leading the Pakistan bowling attack by the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
Only time will tell.
Follow Roha on Twitter @RohaTheManiac
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The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.