x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Redemption for Amir?

Disgraced cricket bowler Mohammad Amir deserves a chance at redemption – provided he has told all he knows about the 2010 scandal.

In 2009, the young Pakistani bowler Mohammad Amir had the world at his feet. A record of 51 wickets in just 14 tests hinted at a talent ready to take cricket by storm. But since he became involved in a spot-fixing scandal in 2010, little has gone right in his life.

Now, Amir blames his ex-captain Salman Butt for dragging him into the scandal when he was just 18 years old.

Having served a jail term of three months, Amir has given his side of the story for the first time. And if he has indeed told the whole truth then, like any other person, he deserves a shot at redemption.

But the account that Amir gave The Times of London casts him in the most favourable light possible: Butt exercised predatory influence on him; the London Test match in 2010 was his first incident of cheating and he did not accept any money for the act.

This all may be true. But if the story goes deeper, then Amir needs to come clean now. Even then, rehabilitation would not be an impossibility.

Amir was banned from cricket for five years, and is still young enough to be gradually rehabilitated into the game. But the record, and his conscience, must be clear if he is to merit that second chance.

In the past he trusted the wrong people and it landed him in hot water. He must now prove that he is worthy of trust.