PCB rejects Azhar Ali’s resignation over Amir return
The row over Mohammad Amir's inclusion in a national training camp may have been resolved but it emerged on Tuesday that ODI captain Azhar Ali handed in his resignation during the affair.
The 30-year-old batsman was persuaded to continue in his role after a lengthy meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan.
Azhar and former T20 captain Mohammad Hafeez had boycotted the national camp last week, refusing to train alongside Amir, who was jailed in 2011 for spot-fixing. Shaharyar Khan held a meeting with the two players and on Saturday declared that the matter had been “resolved” amicably.
But the issue is likely to remain a thorn in Pakistan's plans for the upcoming New Zealand series and World T20 in India next year after the PCB boss had to convince Azhar to take back his resignation.
“Azhar wanted to step down as captain over Amir’s inclusion but Shaharyar Khan has persuaded him to stay on. The issue will not go away so easily for the PCB,” a source told.
There was further drama on Tuesday as the Islamabad High Court issued a notice to the PCB chairman and the national selection committee over a petition objecting to Amir's inclusion in the Pakistan camp.
The hearing has been adjourned to December 31.
However, hours after the Islamabad court issued notice to the PCB, another petition seeking removal of Amir from Pakistan squad was rejected by the Lahore High Court.
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 board's legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi.
“I pleaded the case on behalf of the PCB and our opinion is that Amir completed his ban and as per country's constitution he has every right to play cricket,” said Rizvi, adding: “The judge on hearing the arguments rejected the petition filed by a lawyer, Munsif Awan.”
“We also informed the court that Amir will play under the microscopic eyes of the ICC and the PCB,” said Rizvi.
The division in the Pakistan camp and the suspension of star legspinner Yasir Shah over a failed drug test will cause cause a few headaches for the management which is already struggling to identify the right team combination ahead of the World T20.
Pakistan's immediate assignment though is the side's upcoming tour of New Zealand, where they will play three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches, the first of which begins on January 15.
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