By Ayyaz Malik
Pakistan duo Mohammed Asif, and former Pakistan captain Salman Butt will be able to resume their cricket careers on Wednesday 2nd September. The duo who served five year bans for spot fixing are now clear to play in cricket again. There were three players found guilty – but the Pakistan Cricket Board were able to persuade the International Cricket Council to relax their ban on Amir
It must be stated that youngest of the three players Mohammed Amir saw the conditions of his ban relaxed six months ago – due to his cooperation with the authorities. All three men were banned from all forms of cricket after an undercover sting by a media outlet caught all three men and former agent Mazhar Majeed trying to determine certain parts of matches . Majeed’s part in this affair saw him spend some time in prison.
Three players who were destined for greatness, sadly saw their careers come to an abrupt halt ( on their behalf) – but thankfully cricket has sent a strong message to all three men, even the repenting Mohammed Amir. Many experts believe (us at Asian Sunday included) that we all made mistakes – but to admit, apologise and look to move forward is the best way to rectify this.
Justin Gatlin hasn’t done that in the world of athletics when he failed a drugs test and was banned – but Gatlin’s agent says there is proof of the contrary. Mohammed Amir at least said I was wrong and was young – but let me put this write Mohammed Amir has been playing in grade two matches. In fact the 23 year old has impressed by taking 22 wickets in four matches.
Asif and Butt who have been completely banned from all forms of cricket only seem to aplogise once all legal avenues were exhausted. What ever the truth is in regards to Butt and Asif’s guilt one thing is for certain that both men have a long road back to redemption. Some legends of the Pakistan game such as Ramiz Raja has said these players should be never allowed to play for the national team again. That is some way away just yet (international cricket)
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has said that both Butt and Asif will need to not only play grade two cricket and club cricket – but will need to also lecture youngsters on the perils of match fixing. Salman Butt’s and Mohammed Asif’s road to redemption has already started, it’s going to be a long and bumpy road where some might never forgive them.
As for Mohammed Amir, the 23 year old has targeted the T20 world cup in India next March as he starts to rebuild his own reputation.