By Muhammad Atif Noor
ISLAMABAD, Dec 27 (APP): Players’ power seems to be once again dominating the cricketing affairs in Pakistan as evident by the recent row between the board and some of the players regarding participation of Muhammad Amir in the training camp organized for New Zealand tour.
ODI captain Azhar Ali and batsman Muhammad Hafeez had refused to join the camp in protest as they were of the view that tainted Amir should not be given another chance to represent green shirts.
The question arises here that if Pakistan Cricket Board and selection committee had selected Amir among the 26 players for training camp, then under what authority the players particularly Azhar and Hafeez were creating hurdles in the resumption of Amir’s career.
Another worthwhile question was that if the two batsmen had that much issues with Amir’s inclusion then they should have conveyed the same to the PCB beforehand so that the bad name of the country could be avoided and the grace of the fast bowler could be preserved.
The act of the two senior team members had not only brought a bad name to the country but also disgraced Muhammad Amir who had completed his sentence of five year ban from cricket besides successfully accomplishing PCB’s rehabilitation program.
Former batsman Ramiz Raja was of the view that if PCB had decided that Amir should play for Pakistan then Azhar and Hafeez must regard the decision.
“Both Azhar and Hafeez should either accept the decision of PCB or should say “thank you very much” and make themselves unavailable for the team,” Rameez underlined.
He said Pakistan had worked hard to restore its prestige in cricket and such behavior of the players would again earn bad name for Pakistan which must be avoided.
He said it was welcoming that PCB had resolved the issue amicably and the players should also honor the decision of the management.
The talented and gifted fast bowler Muhammad Amir had impressed everybody with his swing, pace and control in Bangladesh Premier League where he bowled T20 skipper Shahid Afridi with a beauty thus proving that he was ready to start the journey from the same point as he had left at Lords, England.
It is also a reality that Pakistan was badly in need of a strike bowler after the ouster of Saeed Ajmal from the team as now the green shirts could not defend even a score of 300.
The brilliance of Amir can inject a new energy in the bowling line up keeping in view the inconsistency of the national batting line up including Azhar Ali and Hafeez.
It was also a fact that Azhar Ali was not able to earn a place in ODI side as long as Misbah was captain and as far as Hafeez was concerned his own place in the team was in jeopardize after the ICC banned him from bowling due to his suspicious action.
Most of the former legendary players and experts have also put weight on Amir’s side and urged PCB to ascertain its authority.
Former Captain and legendary all-rounder Imran Khan has said that Amir has completed his sentence and now he should be given a chance as he is gifted with sheer talent.
Former captain and master of swing bowling Wasim Akram has said that it was PCB which should decide about Amir and not the players.
Chairman PCB Sheharyar Khan had earlier announced after meeting with Azhar and Hafeez that the issue had been resolved and both players were ready to participate in the training camp.
He said if Amir was selected in the team then the senior players and captain should take him along and support him.
However, the statement of Hafeez after the meeting was somehow confusing where he said that he was firm on his “principled stance” that those players who had disgraced Pakistan should not be allowed to play again.
One should ask Hafeez whether only financial corruption brings bad name to the country or grouping and politics in the team were also something serious and players involved in that must also be punished.