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Thursday, November 03, 2011


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First off: the spelling of his second name to AMIR needs correction! This is how he is legally recognised from court reports, etc.

To the point of this post: yes, of course he deserves clemency in view of his extreme youth (seven and a half years younger than his erstwhile and cynical captain!) and this is where I believe the wise judge has shown sensitivity to Amir's case. The six-month sentence (of which he will serve three, we are told) not in prison, but in a youth offenders' centre, is of the utmost importance because, mercifully, it is not prison, nor of much longevity. The ethos in such establishments is centred on rehabilitation and education, and building self-esteem, definitely not punishment (i.e. withdrawl of privileges) unless he transgresses house rules. In effect, it is a very strict but caring boarding school with very small classes. In such an institution he has every opportunity to be better educated (in the broadest sense) than he is at the moment. He can be taught about taking responsibility for this actions (surely the most important aspect of being an adult) and building on his qualities of honesty that have already been evident. He will, of course, improve his English and, perhaps, become an ambassador for 'clean sportsmanship' when he returns to Pakistan. He has the opportunity to make much of himself as he grows into adulthood and any right-thinking human-being must wish him well. The thought that he still has a career in cricket, subject to his successful rehabiliation and the ICC ban, must be made clear to him at the outset. The best of Amir - in every sense the best - may be yet to come. Cricket-lovers everywhere must hope that he takes full advantage of the opportunity he has so painfully be given.

The Reverse Sweep

Is it Aamer or Amir - it does get confusing. I'd agree with you Ian with regards to his rehabilitation and hopeful redemption, but don't believe that he should been incarcerated. His age, the fact that he admitted his guilt, showed clear remorse and was clearly coerced by his captain (and hidden shady others) mean his punishment is too severe. Mike Atherton has written an excellent piece in today's Times that refers to the threats that have been made to his family being the reason why Amir didn't blow the whistle on the whole sorry mess.


I'm no blleding heart liberal, but I believe the players have been punished enough by their bans from cricket - for Butt and Asif it effectively ends their careers. Whilst a clear message has been sent to others contemplating similar actions (in England at least), I'm not sure custodial sentences for the players were entirely necessary.


And as for the institution that Amir is being sent to - by most of the reports I've read Feltham YOI is a desperately horrific place and in thrall to gang culture - I fear for Amir's safety in such a place.




I must read Athers' article! Thank you. I didn't know about the reputation of Feltham YOI and if he is under threat there, then he must be moved immediately. The fact is that, like it or not, his experiences there (or somewhere else) will become common knowledge in Pakistan early next year. He needs to go back saying he was well treated and has made progress, etc. in the ways I outlined above. The British penal system is also under scrutiny - and, for the sake of international relations as much as Amir himself, it had better not be found wanting!


No sympathies here. 'Tis true that there are some who get away without jail terms for a lot worse crimes, but something along these lines were required to shake things up.

The depressing note is the evidence presented against many others in court who are involved in dodgy dealings...something which we have always got a vibe for during certain games.

Might also been interesting whether Aamer would have got the same sort of sympathy if he had the talent equivalent of say, one of those Zimbabwe bowlers.

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