Pakistan rejects Azhar Ali’s resignation over Amir return

Published 12/29/2015, 2:57 PM EST
Pakistan’s Azhar Ali throws a ball during practice session ahead of their first test cricket match against Sri Lanka in Galle June 21, 2012. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte/Files


REUTERS – Pakistan has rejected one-day captain Azhar Ali’s offer to resign over tainted team mate Mohammad Amir’s presence at a Lahore training camp, the country’s cricket board said on Tuesday.

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Amir’s return to the selection mix after serving a five-year ban for spot-fixing in the 2010 Lord’s test has polarised Pakistan cricket with several of his team mates resenting his reintegration.

Azhar, along with former captain Mohammad Hafeez, initially refused to join the camp ahead of next month’s limited-over matches in New Zealand but Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said the ODI skipper would stay on.

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“Azhar Ali met the chairman PCB (Shaharyar Khan). He tendered his resignation,” PCB said in a statement.

“The chairman didn’t accept his resignation, Azhar Ali agreed and he will continue as captain,” it added.

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Amir, fellow fast bowler Mohammad Asif and former test captain Salman Butt served jail sentences in Britain after being found guilty in 2011 of various offences of corrupt behaviour.

Former captain Imran Khan has backed Amir’s return to international cricket but test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq feared the bowler’s comeback would prove a big distraction for the team.

According to local media reports, former captain Shoaib Malik has been assigned to guide Amir on his comeback.

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(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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