Millennium Post

Ali resigns over Aamir inclusion, PCB convinces him to stay

Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali on Tuesday tendered his resignation over presence of tainted paceman Mohammed Aamir in the national training camp but agreed to continue after PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan's intervention.

There has been a debate in Pakistan cricket over giving Aamir a chance to redeem himself after he disgraced himself by getting involved in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal.

The players, including Ali and Mohammed Hafeez, had even refused to join the national camp, protesting Aamir's presence.

Ali on Tuesday met Khan and requested that he be relieved of the duty to lead Pakistan but the former convinced him to continue as captain.

"Azhar Ali met the chairman PCB (Shaharyar Khan). He tendered his resignation. The chairman didn't accept his resignation, Azhar Ali agreed and he will continue as captain," the PCB said in a statement.

Aamir is one of the 26 probables named for Pakistan's pre-season conditioning camp. The young paceman served a five-year ban after being indicted in the scandal and was allowed to bowl in domestic cricket by ICC.

Aamir had apologised to both Ali and Hafeez for his actions and had even offered to leave the game if they thought that he does not deserve to play for Pakistan again.

PCB chairman Khan had then convinced both Hafeez and Ali to join the camp.

"I do respect their concerns but some of them, I told them, are not acceptable. So they understood and confirmed that they are on the same page with us," Khan had said.

Meanwhile, a Pakistani court on Tuesday rejected a petition against the inclusion of convicted spot-fixer Mohammad Amir in the national cricket team, clearing the last hurdle to his predicted comeback after a five-year ban.

Amir, 23, was one of three Pakistan players banned for arranging deliberate no-balls as part of a betting scam during a Test match in England 2010. The two other were the then-Test captain Salman Butt and bowler Mohammad Asif. All three were also sentenced to six months in prison in Britain. The prospect of the trio returning to national colours after serving their bans has polarised opinions, with one lawyer petitioning the Lahore High Court to issue a stay order against a recall for Amir.

Justice Shahid Bilal Hasan rejected the petition, according to the Pakistan Cricket Board’s legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi.
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