Doha, Feb 6: Mohammad Amir, one of the three Pakistan players convicted in the spot fixing case and who has been imposed with a 5-year ban from taking part in international cricket, was in a saddened mood when confronted by the press following the judgement by the ICC tribunal.
"It just seems that everything is finished and that my career never happened," reflected a dismayed Amir. "Who knows what is written for me now?" And then, "These things happen in life and I haven't lost my courage yet. Who knows that lies ahead for me?"
Amir went on to say that cricket was his whole life as there were no alternatives for a talented player like himself. "For a cricketer whose life is cricket, this is like destroying their life," he said. Immediately he added, "One shouldn't lose hope because in life if Allah closes one door, he opens hundred others."
However, he felt, and this sentiment found resonance among his fans, supporters and well-wishers, that a 5-year ban was too harsh a punitive action dished out to him. "Two no-balls should not be five years punishment, they have said this themselves (the ICC)," Amir said. "I will also say it is too much and I wasn't expecting it. I can't think clearly right now."
He wound up his media session on a brave note, declaring that he would return to the international arena and acknowledged the support around him. "When I started my career I had successes. Now this is a bad patch, but you don't wind up the business. I will work doubly hard. There are lots of grounds in Pakistan and I won't stop practicing and keeping fit. I will work doubly hard and I will be back."
After all, cricket would hate to lose one of its most promising young starlets.
On an aside, Amir's lawyer Shahid Karim stated that he and his client would be appealing against the 5-year ban at the Court of Arbitration in Sport, Switzerland.