Mohammad Amir deserves half the salary and no chance at captaincy

Published: October 24, 2015
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Banned: Pakistan's Mohammad Amir has broken an official ban from cricket by bowling at club level. PHOTO: AFP

Mohammad Amir, the young cricketer who was banned for a spot fixing scandal, still managed to garner a lot of sympathy from Pakistanis, be it cricketing legends or experts and because of this, he has been allowed to play cricket once again.

However, if the cricket fraternity thought Amir would be welcomed back with open arms, they were wrong. Yes, Amir is still young, has immense talent, bearing in mind his recent performances in the realm of domestic cricket, where he claimed more than 30 wickets in six matches during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, yet, people, in specific his team mates, will not be as forgiving.

This was evident after the recent spat between Amir and Faisal Iqbal which turned a lot of heads. The row between these two highlights how most players will still not be as accepting towards Amir. Apparently, Iqbal called Amir a ‘thief’ due to which they got into a verbal spat. This resulted in Amir being fined 150 per cent of the match fee and Iqbal being given a warning.

It may seem like a normal heated verbal spat between two players, but it reflects upon two blatant issues. Firstly, it shows that Amir’s attitude is still a cause of concern. Secondly, it also shows that no matter how hard the selectors may try to get the banned players into the mix; other players will still display signs of hesitation and condescension towards the banned players. This is mainly due to the fact that they believe the banned players do not deserve a place on the team because they tarnished the image of our nation for money.

This argument doesn’t only apply to Amir of course, it applies to the other two as well, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif.

Big names in cricket, such Ramiz Raja and Javed Miandad held their ground stating that these three should not be allowed to play cricket at all, however, the counter argument provided by the players was that they need to earn their livelihood and they should be allowed a second chance to prove their worth and talent. Why shouldn’t they, especially since they have served punishment for the crime.

I personally was completely against the trio returning to the field of cricket, but upon hearing both sides of the argument, I finally realised the solution lies somewhere in between these two views.

To begin with, if the trio are being inducted in the squad again, the same code of conduct which is being applied to the rest of the players should not be applied to them. But as much as I believe in second chances, keeping in the mind the shame the trio brought upon us, I think it is fair to say their second chance should come at a price.

The trio should be welcomed back to the domestic circuit and if they do get a chance to perform at international level as well, they should definitely be made to sign a new code of conduct. This code of conduct will separate them from the rest of the playing cricketing class in this country as well as set a precedent that once you put the worth of your country at stake, you will miss out on the privileges you once enjoyed.

According to me, the new code of conduct should have the following terms in it.

No Captaincy for the Trio 

The first and foremost thing Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should make clear is that these three should never be allowed to captain Pakistan, be it a domestic or international match. By doing that, the juniors in the team will learn that no matter how big a player you are, if you malign the country’s name for the sake of money, you will not be able to land a senior position.

Australia followed the same rule and never let Shane Warne, who many Australians believed had the best cricketing brain to play the game, become the Captain of the Australian team because of his involvement in various controversies and instead appointed Ricky Ponting as the captain after the departure of Steve Waugh.

Their salaries should be slashed by 50 per cent for the rest of their career

This might seem a bit harsh, but that’s how it should be. The trio should only receive 50 per cent of the match fee, the central contact and daily allowance, in all formats, be it domestic or international. By doing this, PCB is allowing them to start earning, but not giving them the full luxury to earn as much as everyone else will be earning.

No individual advertisements or endorsement for as long as they play cricket.

The trio should not be allowed to feature in any advertisement as an individual. By going along with this plan, PCB can curtail them from becoming the face of cricket in Pakistan, which they should never be allowed to become.

Many may argue that these terms will be extremely unfair, however, I feel it would be a positive step, if it ever to be taken. I see it as a chance for them to redeem themselves, as a chance to pay back our nation, who even after what they did, are willing to accept them.

It’s a chance for them to start earning again and do what they love to do, which is play the game. It’s a chance for them to show the world that they are better than before. This is their chance to regain their integrity and win over their fans. But they should know, these chances will come at a price, a price that the trio should be more than willing to pay.

Azeem Siddiqui

Azeem Siddiqui

The author is a sports writer, sports blogger and sub-editor sports desk at Express Tribune. He tweets as @aze3msiddiqui (twitter.com/aze3msiddiqui)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Shaharyar

    Shane Warne and Mark Waugh were fined for sharing pitch information. Shane Warne was also banned for taking diuretics. Were their salaries slashed by half? Wasim Akram was made captain after his issues with being caught on a beach with drugs along with match fixing. All of these players are considered the greatest now. Aamir and company have served there punishment. Punishing them again for the same crime is double jeopardy. Quite frankly you have no idea what you are talking about.Recommend

  • Halo

    All of your propositions fly in the face of your basic premise (“Why shouldn’t they, especially since they have served punishment for the crime), namely, that they have been punished. Why punish them twice!?Recommend

  • khalid saeed

    are you serious? grow up man. let the trio get the chance to find out by themselves whether people want them back on not.Recommend

  • pakhtun

    Hmmm interesting thoughts, could only come from a student of “Greenwich”. I really hope you shouldnt get forgiven for any of the mistakes you make in life and keep getting reminded for that for whole life. Then you will know how you treat others!!!Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad

    Nobody can straighten dog’s tail. Half salary or zero salary, they don’t care. They need just one match and that would compensate not only their previous losses, they will make enough to live happily thereafter.Recommend

  • Kamran

    What kind of stupid advice is this. They’ve already paid the price and no where in the world you are punished more than once for a crime. Once they’re punished then they should be accepted as normal players and should be awarded equal pay and benefits as everyone else because they’ll toil equally in the cricket field and will play equally hard as other players in the team. Even Allah Ta’alah likes forgiveness than who are you or anyone else to suggest that they shouldn’t be given a 2nd chance. Are you and others who are suggesting this stupid 2nd punishment above the laws of Allah Ta’alah. Please read your religion and try to follow it. It’s your kind of idiots who are ruining the peace of our beloved country Pakistan. Who keeps grudges and spread hatred by writing these kind of stupid articles.Recommend

  • ahmed

    “Half salary ..” what ?? You can’t pluck numbers out of thin air and impose on someone as punishment. It is plain illegal. The trio has served there punishment under the existing laws. There selection should now only be on merit.Recommend

  • S

    Why we as a Pakistani nation exude some tolerance. Specially, towards amir who was very young. Some places in the world would even consider it as a juvenile crime.
    Please break these chains of hate , intolerance and being the judge jury and executioner.
    Recommend

  • Atif

    This man seems living in an illusion. How on earth would you justify paying someone half for same amount of work others do and are paid full?Recommend

  • MEHMOOD

    What a wasted article.. If amir has a spat with Faisal…every body knows the worth of Faisal …if amir is selected in the team, he should be treated equal and if he qualifies for captaincy, he must be made captain….. End of argumentRecommend

  • ivehadit

    Just nonsense. I didn’t even read the article – the headline was enough.
    He’s a kid, should be treated as one. There is no standard only for Amir. Let’s get him on the team before we worry about the captaincy.Recommend

  • Muzz

    in a country where our prime minister was accused of so many things, havent done much jail time gone pretty much scot free… our previous president spent so much time in jail for so many cases and he was released, nothing was proved.

    here we have a KID, accepted his mistake, actually did the time in prison, went through his ban, starting again from scratch, making the real effort and you want to dock his pay!Recommend

  • Ali S

    That was uncalled provocative behaviour by Iqbal – Aamir made a mistake, instantly admitted it, served his punishment and he’s still being hounded for it. It sounds more like professional jealousy than anything.

    But I do feel bad for Aamir. He was an uneducated, highly gifted kid who made one horrible decision that he instantly regretted and threw away a potentially legendary career for it. Sure, the other two (Salman and Asif) deserve no sympathy, but I think Aamir’s teammates need to be given some orientation on how to deal with a young player whose regret is still quite raw. Despite his immense talent, Aamir will now have to live with the shame of not being accepted as equal by his teammates.Recommend

  • Free

    Half salary? I say no salary! Rather no cricket! Set an example, otherwise people like this trio will keep destroying this game that billions of people love.Recommend

  • Free

    Well, the example you want to set is, keep fooling the nation, keep doing your dirty job and if you are caught, pay the penalty and continue what you were doing before.Recommend

  • romm

    @Ch Allah Dad
    If the sitting Prime minister despite being an establised money Launderer can be given three chances. .. why not to give chance to Juvenile offender… Recommend

  • bob

    Nonsense article with no understanding about law or cricket. I wonder ho this kind of person can live with his conscience.Recommend

  • wellknown

    The punishment they have served in Britain was for defrouding the British bookies,which is s crime in Britain.what punishment have they served in Pakistan,besides cooling their heels for some time outside national team ?Recommend

  • Mohammed

    This is ridiculous. We’re talking about a young guy here, who committed a mistake at the age of 18. That too, at the insistence of his captain (we do realise the importance of a senior and a captain at such an age).

    Give him a second chance, albeit a proper one. Dont make him captain, maybe. We should always have enough contenders for that hopefully. Apply tougher scrutiny on them, yes, lest they do something wrong again. But dont go on cutting down a man’s livelihood. Dont need that sham of a second chance. Let him have a proper one. He’s done his time. Let him serve the nation now and win laurels now, if they come his way. Dont kill the biggest motivation of a man in doing that: livelihood.Recommend

  • Salman

    What a useless article. Really, nobody cares what you think. Half the author’s salary should be withheld for such low quality journalism.Recommend

  • Waqas Shah

    Herschelle Gibbs who agreed to under-perform in an ODI game was banned from cricket for just six month, even shane warne went through a similar allegation.
    The trio has served their punishment under the existing laws, keep your crap with you.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    So basically he tried to do something wrong for money so your punishment is to take away his salary so he has more incentive to do wrongdoings.Recommend

  • highburypaul

    Amir was fantastic talent betrayed by his seniors. He never should have been as severely punished as his captain, who told him to do it.Recommend

  • ahmed

    The main culprit in the fixing issue is team managementRecommend