Stories about Muhammad Amir

We need the old Junaid Khan back

On the eve of the 2011 Cricket World Cup, when Sohail Tanvir sustained an injury and the 21-year-old Junaid Khan was included in the squad without any experience in international cricket, a few eyebrows were raised on his selection, but selectors thought that in Junaid, the left-arm quick, they had found a replacement for Muhammad Amir, who was at that time banned from international cricket for five years.  Having been partnered with Amir at the 2008 Under 19 (U19) Cricket World Cup, there was no doubt about Junaid’s talent, and while announcing his selection, the Chief Selector, Iqbal Qasim said, “He ...

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Not forgotten but forgiven: The prodigy returns

It was on a typically overcast London afternoon that the nation saw its first glimpse of young Muhammad Amir, who had just turned 17 a few months earlier. It took him all of two balls to win over the thousands of Pakistani supporters at The Oval and the millions at home watching their side take on England in the 2009 World Twenty20. Ravi Bopara’s uppish drive was well held by Shoaib Malik at backward point and Amir wheeled away in joy, baring all of his uneven teeth. That was the moment the nation fell in love with the precociously talented ...

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What if Muhammad Amir was guilty even before the spot-fixing scandal of 2010?

Banned fast bowler, Muhammad Amir is the talk of the town once again. He is young and obviously talented, and so is being missed on the cricket fields but alas, his ban lasts until September 2015. Before the notorious spot fixing scandal of 2010 he could have walked into any team but today, he had to wait even to get into the domestic circuit! I am not a legal expert, so I am not be equipped to comment on the legalities of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s desperation to get Amir’s sentence reduced or at least find a way for him ...

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There is no need for players who betray their country

The spot fixing scandal which shook the foundations of Pakistan cricket in 2010 has become, as it seems, a never ending nightmare. Most of us thought it ended after the culprits, Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Amir were banned by ICC, followed by their conviction and jail sentence by British courts but this scandal continues to make headlines to date. In a recent blog at The Express Tribune, the blogger appealed for their comeback, his line of reasoning mainly being that our country has exonerated bigger criminals than these three cricketers and that match fixing happens all over the world and ...

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Zulqarnain Haider: Cricketer, whistle-blower and hero

At the spot-fixing trial of Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt, and Mohammad Amir, the most startling piece of news came towards the end. According to various reports, the lion’s share of the spot fixing money, distributed by now disgraced sports agent, Mazhar Majeed, went to cricketer Mohmmad Asif. The question immediately begged itself, why did the majority of the money go to one cricketer? BBC’s Gordon Farquhar speculates in his blog: “He said £2,500 went to Amir, £10,000 to Butt, who was looking wretched in the dock at this point, and £65,000 to Asif. Asif? The man who said in his defence the no-ball was ...

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Maybe they forgot it wasn’t Pakistan…

The conviction of Pakistani cricket players in a UK court is truly embarrassing for the nation in general and for cricket followers in particular. So what should we do next? Should we close the chapter and move on? I think we should stop, step back a little and view the entire episode in the larger context. I see it as a symptom of a disease that has spread far and deep across the length and breadth of the country. When you keep on brushing filth under the carpet for too long, it sometimes finds its way out. The spot-fixing trio ...

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Spot-fixing: Not even an iota of delight

Covering cricket as a journalist snatches away the innocence and exuberance instilled into one’s life as a fan, in the days preceding the time when you don’t have to pay for tickets anymore or when the very figures you’d yearn to meet and speak to, become your friends. You call each other by name, handshakes don’t have the same value anymore, food and drinks are shared and, perhaps a minor glitch of the job, the holiness of a player tones down to a meek normalcy, an act unimaginable when it all started. You forget that once upon a time, in front ...

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Stop dissing Pakistan cricket

The Salman, Amir and Asif case is over now. The so-called ‘cricket experts’ should know that whatever the trio did was in their personal capacity and nothing was backed by the government or by the people of Pakistan. Hansie Cronje, Azharuddin, Ajay Sharma, Ajay Jadeja, Salim Malik, Ata ur Rehman, Maurice Odumbe, Marlon Samuels, Mark Waugh, Shane Warne, Brian Lara, Aravinda De Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga from different nationalities have also been in close contact with bookies. Few of them have also faced life bans and heavy fines as they were either involved in match/spot fixing or in giving ...

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Is “hang ’em all” always the answer?

Working as a part of the web team at The Express Tribune has given me  exposure to peoples’ reactions online which always tend to take me by surprise. However, during this week, after the spot-fixing verdict story was shared on Facebook, I was more than just a little surprised by the harsh, emotional and blunt responses that came from a majority of readers. They were thirsty for the trio’s blood – literally. One commenter, Usama Zulfiqar, proposed capital punishment for the players which began a flood of comments that agreed with him – most readers were demanding Asif and Butt ...

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Tainted trio: From heroes to zeroes

“The next station is London Bridge. Mind the gap between the train and the platform please”. The announcement on the London Underground disrupted my train of thought. I was on my way to the Southwark Crown Court to learn the fate of Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, who were waiting for the jury’s verdict in the spot-fixing case. At that time, I wasn’t thinking about the destination as much as I was pondering over their journey. It was only a year earlier that a Butt-led Pakistan defeated Australia in England and the team’s avid followers felt that finally the leadership of the ...

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