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Muhammad Amir may not get New Zealand visa

The tainted national player Muhammad Amir is facing problems in getting visa for upcoming New Zealand tour as the country has rules against granting visas to individuals with criminal convictions.

In the past, spot fixers and drugs cheats have been permitted re-entry in to the worldwide arena after serving their sentence.

The PCB, in a statement issued here today, confirmed that the fast bowler was “eligible” for national selection, having completed his rehabilitation programme after serving a five-year ban for his role in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal.

A possible comeback for Amir, the youngest bowler to reach 50 Test wickets, has been opposed in some quarters, with Mohammad Hafeez, a prominent batsman in all three formats for Pakistan, admitting last month he would be reluctant to play alongside the paceman.

According to the PCB, Amir was not “wise” enough to realise his mistake when he committed the offence. “His selection for the national team, for which he is eligible, would depend on the selectors”.

It said Amir had cooperated with multiple investigations, and continued: “Amir was 19 years old when he was indicted”.

It said what was relevant in Amir’s case was that from the first day, he admitted his guilt and has sought forgiveness from his country, his fans and from Pakistanis. “They include Marlon Samuels, Herschelle Gibbs (cricket) and Tyson Gay (athletics)”.

“In contrast, the other accused, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif insisted on their innocence until they were sentenced by a British Court and served their full jail term”, the statement read.

Amir also went through psychology sessions and gave lectures to his juniors against corruption.

After serving his six month probation, Amir has been participating in domestic first class cricket with success.

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan added that it didn’t matter what Amir did he would “constantly be seen under a microscope”.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) says it is yet to receive a visa application for Mohammad Amir and confirms the Pakistan fast bowler will require a waiver to tour in January.

Since his return, Amir has taken 22 wickets in four non first-class games, while his tally of wickets in the qualifying rounds of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy stood at 34. “I promise that I will do my best to respect the prestige of the green cap and Pakistan shirt”, said Amir.

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