Published On: Mon, Dec 28th, 2015

Emotional Amir welcomed back by Pakistan

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Amir returned to cricket this year following a lengthy ban

Returning fast bowler Mohammad Amir broke down in tears in front of his teammates before being welcomed back into the Pakistan side, according to media reports.

Amir, who in 2011 was hit with a five-year ban and a six-month jail sentence for his role in the infamous 2010 spot-fixing scandal, has faced strong opposition from some of his countrymen since he returned to domestic cricket this year.

Limited overs skipper Azhar Ali and batsman Mohammad Hafeez had both stated their opposition to Amir’s return, initially boycotting the current player camp in Lahore due to the 23-year-old’s presence.

But PTI is quoting a source who claims Amir has been welcomed back by his teammates – including Ali and Hafeez, who eventually joined the camp after discussions with the Pakistan Cricket Board – following an emotional meeting with protesting players.

The source also claims that centrally contracted players have all signed a document from the PCB, in which they stated they have no objections to playing with Amir in the future.

“The document, which has now been signed by everyone including Hafeez and Azhar, puts the PCB in a legally strong position and if any player now refuses to play with Amir or any other spot-fixing punished player he can be fined up to two million rupees,” the PTI source said.

“Amir was aware there was lot of tension in the camp because of him and at the meeting he broke down in tears.

“He said he was sorry for what had happened and again apologised to everyone at the meeting.

“He then said if anyone felt he didn’t deserve a second chance he would leave the camp straightaway as he didn’t want any more damage caused to the spirit and unity of Pakistan cricket.

“Hafeez also got emotional and hugged him and said everything was forgiven.”

The PCB had this week confirmed they had approved the “re-integration” of Amir into the national set-up.

In confirming Ali and Hafeez had agreed to join the training camp, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan called on Pakistan cricket to welcome Amir back into the fold.

“(Ali and Hafeez) have to stand with him and should not see him with suspicion or behave badly with him,” Khan said.

“It is now their responsibility – Azhar as captain and him (Hafeez) as a senior player – to take him like a family.

“We, at the same time, will ensure that Amir stays on course and does not commit any mistake in future.”

Amir, who was 19 at the time of the spot-fixing scandal, took 51 wickets from 14 Tests between 2009 and 2010.

The left-armer is in the mix for Pakistan’s upcoming limited overs tour of New Zealand, starting in Auckland on January 15.

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