Karachi, 19 July
The Pakistan Cricket Board has requested the International Cricket Council to allow banned paceman Mohammad Amir to start using facilities at the National Cricket Academy under the supervision of PCB coaches. A senior board official said that recent reports suggesting the ICC had or would allow Amir to get back into first-class cricket were incorrect.
“We don’t foresee that happening but the four man sub-committee formed by the ICC executive board to look into our request on Amir’s case will meet in October for the first time and it is only then that we will get to know something about it,” the official said. He said that the PCB had told the ICC at a recent board meeting of the global institution that it wanted permission to be given to Amir to start using the facilities and start training at the academy.
“That is the request we have made and we are hoping that we get some permission from the ICC late next year on this when Amir will have completed four years of his five-year ban,” he said, adding: "According to the anti-corruption code, a player cannot use any facilities of his board until his ban period is over. We have requested Amir be given permission to start doing this before the ban ends."
The official said that the board was also optimistic that the ICC would allow Amir to play club cricket close to the end of his ban period. Asked whether the PCB was planning to speak to the ICC about the life ban imposed on Test leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, the official said that the board had interceded on behalf of Amir because he admitted his guilt and was a teenager when the spot-fixing scandal took place.
"Danish he has not done it and, secondly, the England and Wales Cricket Board submitted a lot of circumstantial evidence against him in the hearings of the ECB disciplinary panel that eventually banned him," he said. In another development, it has been said that, trying to make another comeback into the national team, Pakistan’s out-of-favour wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal is ready to even to play as an opening batsman.
Kamran, 31, who has played 53 Tests, 154 One-Day Internationals and 50 Twenty20 matches, was dropped after the recent Champions Trophy along with two other senior players, Shoaib Malik and Imran Farhat.
Ironically, national selectors and the team management decided to give the responsibilities of wicketkeeping to Kamran’s younger brother, Umar, who is primarily a middle-order batsman.
“Umar is by nature a specialist attacking batsman. Whoever has given him the additional responsibility of wicketkeeping should be held responsible for whatever happens,” Kamran said.
“I would like to see Umar focus on his batting as he is very talented and I am not sure it is right for him to keep wicket. But let us see what happens now,” Kamran added.