Karachi: The debate over whether tainted left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir should be allowed to play for Pakistan again has created a big divide in Pakistan cricket with former cricketers Mohammad Yousuf and Ramiz Raja engaging in a war of words on the issue during a TV show.
The two waded into each other and used some very personal, coarse and unrefined language against each on national television during a show on Geo Super channel.
The offensive exchange of words took place over the issue of Amir with Yousuf claiming Ramiz didn’t know cricket, was a “Sifarashi” player and good only to be a teacher.
Yousuf went one step further when he made some personal remarks against the former Test captain turned commentator who lost his cool on air. It drew a sharp response from Ramiz who termed Yousuf, who sports a beard, as a fake Mullah who tells lies and who caused havoc in Pakistan cricket.
The clips of the exchange soon became the talk of the social media with many former players, fans and critics expressing disappointment over the language used by both former stalwarts.
Pakistan’s former Test captain Rashid Latif said what happened should never have happened and was most unfortunate.
“I have played with both these players. They are looked upon with respect by the fans. It does not pass on the right message to anyone,” Latif said.
Ramiz has been clear about his views on allowing Amir back into the national team.
“My views are clear to everyone but this is a decision that the Pakistan cricket board has to take and only time will tell whether they took the right decision or not,” Ramiz said.
“I thought the PCB could have handled the Aamir matter in a better manner,” he said.
Two of Pakistan’s senior players Muhammad Hafeez and national one-day captain Azhar Ali both refused to train with Aamir in the national training camp in Lahore but later agreed to return on the intervention of the PCB chief Shaharyar Khan.
Ramiz said he was happy that the matter was resolved and Hafeez and Azhar returned to the camp. “But the Aamir issue has reached a very delicate stage now,” he said.
Responding to remarks from Yousuf that Aamir was the world’s best bowler and that someone had instigated Azhar Ali, Ramiz said neither was Aamir the world’s best bowler nor did anyone instigate Azhar.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan cricketer turned politician Imran Khan has joined those supporting the return of tainted left arm pacer Muhammad Aamir to the national squad.
Imran said on the Ary news channel that he felt Amir deserved some compassion.
“He was 18 when this spot fixing scandal took place. The good thing is that he admitted his guilt, cooperated with the ICC, served his punishment and has also undergone rehabilitation. I think he deserves a second chance,” Imran said.
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