11182017Headline:

If offenders can run the nation – Why can’t Amir play cricket ! Imran Khan

If offenders can run the nation – Why can’t Amir play cricket ! Imran Khan

KARACHI: Celebrated Pakistan all rounder Imran Khan said he backs convicted area-fixer Mohammad Amir’s return to international cricket, encouraging skeptical players and supporters to support the tainted paceman.

The 23-year-old Amir, who finished his five-year prohibition before this year, caused a stir last week when he turned up for fitness camp for future national players, with former Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez and present one-day captain Azhar Ali boycotting training Friday.

Left-armer Amir is tipped to be picked for next month’s limited overs tour of New Zealand, nearly six years after he and two others were prohibited and sentenced for six months in jail for organizing willful no balls during a Test against England in exchange for cash.

If offenders can run the nation - Why can't Amir play cricket ! Imran Khan

If offenders can run the nation – Why can’t Amir play cricket ! Imran Khan

Khan, who led Pakistan to its only World Cup triumph and is revered among the nations cricketing fraternity, said Amir had pled guilty before a court and deserved another chance.

A 19-year-old [Amir was really 18 at the time] lad commits a blunder and then didn’t lie in the court, admits his guilt and finishes his punishment. He should play again, Khan said during an interview on news station ARY.

He’s apologised to everyone, so I appeal to all people that are opposing his return to halt their moves against him, he included.

Khan, a former Pakistan captain turned opposition party leader, didn’t overlook a chance to swing a punch at Pakistan’s leaders in the interview.

Offenders are running the state; therefore, it is irrational that somebody who has finished his sentence is opposed on his return, he said.

Before Amir’s prohibition, Khan had described him as the hottest property in international cricket, while another infamous paceman, Wasim Akram, said Amir was better than him at age 18.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) meanwhile has requested former captain Shoaib Malik to take Amir under his wing in the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL), a Twenty20 league where both will play for the Karachi Kings.

The league is set to feature international stars like Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen and will be held in the UAE in February.

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