The 3-0 T20 series failure against England was a ‘huge eye opener’ for Pakistan preparing for next year’s World T20, Waqar Younis believes. And yes, he also believes that Mohammad Amir, the talented but tainted young pacer, deserves a second chance and should be forgiven.
He should be forgiven just as many of his predecessors were forgiven for the same practices. And may be all those players who may do the same in future!
To be frank, Pakistan need everything, from proper planning, talent and motivation for players to perform well in India, of course if Pakistan government allows the team to travel to the neighbouring country. However, that would be another debate.
One thing will be most wanting in the team, which Shaharyar Khan and Waqar may not be thinking about. That is a synergy among players.
The thought of Amir’s presence in the dressing room has made Mohammad Hafeez to stay away from Bangladesh Premier League — a tournament organised by another country and the teams which have nothing to do with Pakistan. Ahmed Shahzad has also murmured some dissonance on Amir’s inclusion.
But the team is suffering in limited-over formats and there seems to be a feeling among the top officials of Pakistan Cricket Board that Amir carries the magic potion and can help Pakistan when the team travels to India for World T20.
Shaharyar and Waqar have said that Amir may be selected in the national side. Shaharyar seems to have the understanding that there will be issues in the team over Amir’s inclusion. But Waqar believes all those issues could be solved through meetings. And there are reasons to believe that those meetings have already been initiated.
Amir has shown that as a dangerous pacer he has a place in the squad following his impressive performance in domestic cricket and also in BPL. There is a little doubt that Amir could easily be the preferable pacer for selectors and could replace anyone in Pakistan cricket team.
Many former players, especially Ramiz Raja, a renowned commentator, and former chief selector Mohsin Khan have criticised PCB for even thinking of bringing in the tainted players.
In the past, many former and renowned cricketers were involved in match-fixing. They were all acquitted of misdeeds with some exceptions.
Yes, in the present situation, Amir might be in possession of the magic potion to turn Pakistan’s fortunes around. He could play havoc with other teams coming to India in March and April next year. He is talented. This is a fix Pakistan’s cricket fans and the board are facing. The board wants the team to perform in the World T20 and so does the nation. Amir’s presence in the national team would give some hope to them.
So why can’t Amir be given a second chance as some of his predecessors were given? The answer is this: if PCB sidelines Amir at this juncture, when he can play a crucial role for the team in World T20, a strong message will go to this generation of players and the generations to come that there is no future in Pakistan cricket team if they get involved in corrupt practices, no matter how talented they are. I believe PCB should do just that and focus on other, “clean” talent.