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PCB should stand firm on Amir issue - Azhar Mahmood

PCB should stand firm on Amir issue - Azhar Mahmood
Azhar Mahmood was also disappointed on missing out on the PSL.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood stated that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has to adopt a firm stand regarding the international comeback of Mohammad Amir.

Pakistan One-Day International captain Azhar Ali and senior player Mohammad Hafeez have refused to be a part of the training camp in Lahore due to the presence of Amir.

In the midst of this ongoing debate over Amir’s comeback, Mahmood feels that the 23-year-old needs to be forgiven as he has served his punishment.

“I think it is the right thing to do and I support the PCB in this decision,” told in an exclusive interview to www.PakPassion.net.

“Look, we as human beings are prone to making mistakes. This is human nature.

“In Amir’s case, he made a mistake and he has served his punishment of a five-year ban.

“Now that the ban has lapsed, it's time for everyone to move forward and give him another chance.

“Even from a religious point of view, we need to find it in our hearts to forgive him and move on.” 

The PCB has also cleared the way for Amir’s return as he has completed the rehabilitation process but have firmly stated that the decision will rest with the selectors. 

Mahmood reasoned that if some players have an issue with Amir they must resolve it internally with the PCB and not make it a public fight.

“Let me say that if the situation was this serious and the players have issues amongst themselves, this should have been sorted away from the glare of the media.

“There was no need to make this into a public spat.

“Simply put, if some players had issues with Mohammad Amir returning to the national team, they should've spoken to PCB rather than running to the media."

This was not the first time Hafeez has publicly displayed his reluctance to play alongside Amir and Mahmood feels that the actions of the 35-year-old are wrong.

“After all this is a decision for the cricket board and not one that can be taken by players or anyone else for that matter.

“Regardless of how PCB will handle this, let me reiterate that what Mohammad Hafeez did was wrong, there was absolutely no need to go to the media when he could have easily gone to his employer, the PCB, and explained his point of view to them in private.

“All that has happened now is that Pakistan cricket will become the object of ridicule in front of the world and the problem will remain where it is.”

With an experience of 223 matches under his belt, Mahmood will take part in the upcoming Masters Champions League (MCL) Twenty20 tournament.

The 40-year-old is confident that the league will be very competitive as many of the players are active cricketers except for few retired cricketers.

Despite having scored over 4000 runs and accounting for 250 wickets in his T20 career, Mahmood was not picked in the draft of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Expressing his disappointment over missing out on playing the PSL, Mahmood fails to understand the logic behind the exclusion of players like himself and Yasir Arafat.

“The word disappointment doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings about not being picked by any PSL team in the draft.

“I am not too sure what logic was used to pick players by the franchises but it appears that they didn’t get good advice.

“It appears that these are the same advisors who did not select me in the past and are repeating their mistakes again.

“So apparently players like Yasir Arafat and I who have been considered good enough to be selected for Twenty20 teams around the globe are not considered eligible for playing in the PSL!

“Of course I am disappointed but we have to move on and that is what I will be doing.”

In the MCL, Mahmood will be playing for the Virgo Super Kings team which also consists of players like Graeme Smith, Brett Lee and Jonty Rhodes. 

© Cricket World 2015