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Pakistan's banned pace bowler Mohammad Amir was found guilty of corruption by an International Cricket Council tribunal last month. – Photo by AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan's banned pace bowler Mohammad Amir has decided to finish his degree during his forced isolation from cricket.

The 18-year-old abandoned his studies when he started globetrotting as his career with Pakistan took off but his promising future was abruptly halted after he was found guilty of corruption by an International Cricket Council tribunal last month.

Handed a five-year ban from the sport, Amir said he wanted to use the time productively.

“I had to leave my college studies because of my full-time career in cricket once I was selected for Pakistan. But now I am trying privately to get a college degree,” the teenager said on a news channel.

“I am passing through the toughest period of my life and I have realised just how important it is to get a good education.”

Amir, former test captain Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, were banned for a minimum of five years after being found guilty of bowling pre-arranged no balls during a test against England last year. They are appealing their bans with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The trio also face criminal charges of accepting bribes and trying to defraud in a case brought by Britain's Crown Prosecution Service and must appear in a magistrate's court on March 17 in London.

They all deny any wrongdoing.

Many Pakistan players such as Amir hail from rural backgrounds and are unable to get a good education.

The left arm paceman had been tipped to become one of the best bowlers in the sport after picking up 99 wickets - across tests, ODIs and Twenty20 matches - since making his international debut in July 2009.

But with his career now on hold, he said his family suggested he should focus on his studies to remain busy. He did not specify the nature of his degree.

“I have filed an appeal with the CAS through my lawyer and I am hopeful of a good result and I am also going to London next week to attend the magistrates hearing in the Scotland Yard case against us,” he added.

“I regret not being able to play in the World Cup but I watch the matches. One thing this episode has taught me is to differentiate between true friends and foes.”

Updated Mar 04, 2011 11:11am

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Comments (65) (Closed)


Shafiq
Mar 04, 2011 07:43pm
What about "honesty is the best policy" for starters, never mind the friends or foes! Have a good look in the mirror, if you are mature enough. Shafiq
Kaleem
Mar 04, 2011 08:07pm
Its the step in right direction. However, I hope Aamir does not resort to crib sheets in the exams. Because that is rampant in our society. Cheers
FK
Mar 04, 2011 09:03pm
That's great news. Wish him the best
farrukh butt
Mar 04, 2011 09:15pm
Amir.............you must admit guilt if you want to move forward and achieve something in life.Unfortunately you got into bad company of SALMAN BUTT and Asif.............both of them bona fide corrupt cricketers...........the only way out is to accept the wrong and move forward with a positive mind.
Abdullah
Mar 04, 2011 09:51pm
Best of luck!!!
nabeel
Mar 04, 2011 10:15pm
Ya amir when you have to pay the price then u realize about the mistake u made, u guys made the whole nation feel ashamed in front of the world, u had so much talent and had a great future ahead i dont understand why u were a part of all this, anyways the rest two should never be given a chance to play for the nation again
Faisal
Mar 04, 2011 11:10pm
Good thinking Amir, utilise your time productively, nothing better than formal education.
Syed Ashraf
Mar 04, 2011 11:15pm
Amir: it is the best decision you have made to go to college and finished your education. I had earlier in one of my posting agreed with another writer that Amir should finished his education.I along with so many Pakistanis wish that you be playing in the World Cup but that's life, you never know at times what is out there for you, so be brave and face the harsh reality of life, finish your education, and coming days inshallah will bring some good news which shall brighten you up. Stay positive. Wish you all the best.
Bilal
Mar 05, 2011 02:31am
I wonder What is the purpose for promoting people who tried to cheat the nation and the country by taking bribes ?? Is DAWN and the media trying to encourage people to keep doing negative things? Please grow up!!
pakfan
Mar 05, 2011 03:12am
Good stuff from Amir, at least now he will become a lot more wiser and keep away from certain people who may cause him trouble. I hope he learns from his mistakes and is in the team with a fresh start and better aim. Inshallah.
Khizr
Mar 05, 2011 03:36am
Get a degree in law :). You will be dealing with lots of lawyers.
TONY
Mar 05, 2011 05:02am
I hope good education will teach you the Norms of the modern world. I wish you had gathered strength and courage to atleast say sorry to the Pakistani Nation and your Fans around the world for your misconduct and gentleman unbecoming.
Asad Khan
Mar 05, 2011 07:02am
Good education has no subsitute. You are an exceptional talent as a bowler, but this will end when you are 34/35 years old, whereas a good education will last a life time. I am sure there are numerous educational institutions in UK that will be willing to give you a sports scholarship!!!Work hard in your studies and I am sure you will bring laurels to our country.A true champion never gives up and faces all hardships brvely.GOOD LUCK.
ubtough
Mar 05, 2011 08:06am
good luck in pursuing your education. You must take corruption 101, so you wont corrupt the game again. hahahahah.
Amir
Mar 05, 2011 08:33am
Best decision any Pakistani cricketer has made.
mrs asim
Mar 05, 2011 09:04am
He shd definitely persue his studies.....n learn from past mistakes....if he does, he will emerge as a better human being.
Yatin
Mar 05, 2011 09:39am
What is need to study? He earned a lot in sport fixing. He can use the money to generate wealth. Lol
Ijaz Sheikh
Mar 05, 2011 11:11am
Amir must learn a good lesson from this episode like a bad dream. He needs to keep his spirits high while utilising this break for his studies. Best wishes for a successful future for him.
AM
Mar 05, 2011 11:28am
I am thrilled by this positive approach.
Tariq Rashid
Mar 05, 2011 11:58am
This is best option for you buddy to pursue your education first and then after passage of banned time you could either land into a suitable job or even venture into your own business by the money you made in just 1-year.
Mohammad Masood
Mar 05, 2011 02:04pm
It is a pity that Mohammad Amir has only learned to differentiate between a friend and a foe. He has not learnt to differentiate between right and wrong.Unless he does that he will fall prey to doing the same. Although proven beyond a shadow pof doubt that the no ball he bowled was deliberate, there seems to be no remorse and he keeps saying that he is not gulity. My suggestion to Amir is to accept his worng doing and ask for forgiveness from ICC, his country men and his followers.
Abaid ur Rehman
Mar 05, 2011 02:30pm
Good decision Amir.Hopefully you will come back to InternationlCricket
Saket
Mar 05, 2011 04:11pm
Very good decision Amir and I am sure you will play against our team(India) in years to come. Have a great time during studying and do continue your bowling practice. "BIG INDIAN FAN"
Shakeel
Mar 05, 2011 11:38pm
Good for you Amir!..this is a positive step..education will make you more sophisticated & smart & will help you when you make a comeback to cricket! Shakeel
RAHAT SHEIKH
Mar 06, 2011 12:55am
I think he learns from his mistake and hopefully with good education , he may become more successful than he ever thought and will forget these days. Anyhow, he needs good education and A hair cut, just kidding. Good-luck AAMIR, cricket will miss you.
IFITKHAR HAQ
Mar 06, 2011 08:11am
GREED IS A CANCER AND WILL ALWAYS BRING DOWN THE PERSON, ITS NOT PURE EARNING AND ITS NOT BLESS....YOU MUST LEARN A LESSON FROM THIS AND MOVE ON WITH BETTER ATTITUDE TOWARDS LIFE IN DUNIA AND AFTER.
A. Shiraz
Mar 06, 2011 08:46am
We need more educated (even hyper educated) PHDs in our country and fewer cricketers please.
a khan
Mar 06, 2011 10:51am
very positive very good. As misbah's example tells us, education only polishes an athlete's skills. I hope some premium institution like LUMS takes him up and in 5 years we have an educated unmatched fast bowler.
Aloo Khan
Mar 06, 2011 12:47pm
Yaar pehlay education liya hota to ye na hota !
Abdul Samad
Mar 06, 2011 01:22pm
Does he really need an education to understand the difference between friends and foes? the answer is no. Does he really need an education to understand not to take bribe? surely the answer is no. He has done a crime and trying to be a innocent. Stop your act to get the sympathy. He have let the whole nation down he deserved more than what he had this time
Abdul Samad
Mar 06, 2011 01:25pm
Salman Butt is educated but he still done it. Crone was educated but he still done it. Azharuddin and Jadeja were educated they still done it. These things u learn from home and how your parents grow u up.
Ammar
Mar 06, 2011 02:04pm
Aamir, welcome to the hub of cheating! I mean in educational system. I hope you'll be doing your degree honestly, but it seems you'll follow the way what you have done in Cricket, Cheers and Best Wishes!
shahid
Mar 06, 2011 02:22pm
This guy has no shame he still has the guts to come out in public and talk about cricket the problem is, that there is probably no point writting anything about him here, I am sure he cant read it!!!
Dr. Salaria, Aamir A
Mar 06, 2011 03:02pm
Notwithstanding the vital importance of college and university education after passing the high school, we still have lots of the so-called 'educated' but dishonest people in all walks of life and cricket is no exception to it. Nevertheless, this should not be taken as a deterrent by people endeavoring hard to pursue higher education like the former Pakistani cricketer. Let's hope for the best. Maybe, a good higher education will enable the beholder to realize the crucial difference between right and wrong, day and night, peaks and valleys, big and small and what have you? Maybe, the higher education and its tough calls will make the person pursuing it more enlightened, more mature, more civilized and more educated to call a spade a spade - the ultimate reward of good college and university education.
Adeel Ijaz
Mar 06, 2011 03:54pm
Decision, well taken. Amir just remember one thing, cheating is never a solution to anything. Being a failure honestly is far better than being successful by cheating. May Allah bless you and guide you to the right path.
Concern Pakistani
Mar 06, 2011 04:07pm
Good Decision. Like few good Pakistani crickets you will be in a good position when you start and end your career in Cricket. 5 years will be enough for you to get a Degree and get a Real Job. After that whenever you come back to Play Cricket people will respect you cause you Finished you Degree, have a Job and Cricket is your passion but you are not totally depended to earn from your passion. Passion is to enjoy what you Love to do as a Game. Trust me buddy time will pass all those people who are making these comments will go away once you come back and start taking wickets. But your Degree will take you long way after you retire. Look at Imran Khan Graduated from Oxford with Political Science. You can do the same. GOOD STEP, hope you Finish it with Flying Colors...
Hayyan
Mar 06, 2011 04:28pm
@Syed Ashraf : I am really Glad Amir isn't playing for the pakistani team in the world cup. I think you all know why. Friend or Foe ?? Really Amir ... is that the only thing which you learnt after you brought shame to this country. Judging by your attitude i dont think you would even be able to complete you education. One last thing please do not resort to cheat sheats , otherwise when caught you'll end up calling your teachers foe....
M Umer farooq
Mar 06, 2011 05:35pm
I think it is too late now to aplogize, the best way forward for him is to reform himself into a better human being.
Ovais
Mar 06, 2011 08:35pm
ya very true.... 2 fraudsters, Asif and Salman Butt. Now Amir should learn the lesson and move forward. Best of luck
Dr. Amyn Lakhani
Mar 06, 2011 10:28pm
great decision. Now, commit yourself to become a "role model" for youth of our country, who lost way, but got back on right path. A life with purpose is worth living. Select an academic instituion with strong sports credibility, specially in cricket. There are many in Pakistan and even think of schools in England, why not!
sham
Mar 06, 2011 11:21pm
Do the honest thing an admit your guilt on live tv. Salman and his cronie friend Mazher Majeed have spoilt your image. Stay away from him and the other crook Asif and do your time and come back a honest better person
RIZWAN
Mar 06, 2011 11:29pm
good dicision at least he will be able to speak good english in presentation ceremony.
Amjad
Mar 06, 2011 11:51pm
blessing in disguise!!!
Asad Khan
Mar 07, 2011 12:02am
PCB should set up a program to help the cricketers from the rural areas who make it to the national team obtain a good education. It will help them grow and they will also learn to think for themselves. Education instills a sense of pride and confidence these young cricketers so badly need. They will also be able to cope with the pressures and challenges they face while playing in foreign countries.
Roshan
Mar 07, 2011 12:04am
Yes Aamir it all sounds plausible but the key thing missing is your admission to having done wrong. He still insists on being innocent despite the verdict and strong evidence against him. He would have fared much better had he admitted the wrong doing and apologised to the cricket fans around the world. His age therefore naivety, pressure from others and huge potential as a bowler would have had true cricket fans forgiving him and given him a genuine second chance. Still I hope it works out for him.
Irfan Hussain
Mar 07, 2011 04:10am
That's the best comment in this whole lot.... Its good to learn the basic laws of life in younger age, who know when you need them
Irfan Hussain
Mar 07, 2011 04:18am
Amir! I believe there are some positive aspects in all fall backs, and this time it is a good opportunity for you to follow the straight and formal path of life! complete your education and then start playing again.. I am sure you will come back stronger with an established personality, but please take care and don't let us down again
Singh
Mar 07, 2011 05:06am
This is just a kid. He made wrong decision because of corrupt people all around him. It doesnt mean he cant be good person in future. Lets wish him best and hope he contribute in society in positive way. Education is best way forward.
Muzammil Khan
Mar 07, 2011 09:06am
All his mis.doings aside, his presence in World Cup would have been decisive. Anyone can make mistakes and they should be punished of course so as to remind them that they have obligations too.
Sajid
Mar 07, 2011 10:03am
I think Amir is still deceiving the nation by not admitting his guilt, that he deliberately bowled the no ball which has proven beyond the doubt.He should seek nation's forgiveness for bringing disrepute to Pakistan as a country, people of Pakistan and cricket fans all over the world. Until he will keep portraying himself innocent, it will only add to angers of true cricket lovers.
Asif Ijaz
Mar 07, 2011 10:06am
As so many readers have rightly pointed out, you need to first accept your mistake and guilt and only then can move forward. Your decision to educate yourself further is a great one, hopefully will give you a much better platform to diffrentiate between rigth from wrong ofcourse the same cannot be said for the first class CROOK and CHEAT, SALMAN BUTT!! You need to surround yourself with people who influence you in a positive and productive way, that is the key to success!! Good luck!!!
Manu
Mar 07, 2011 10:44am
Dear Aamir: a very good decision which will go along way with you. We know inshallah that you will come out of this ban even stronger (Knowing the fighter you are) and we know that you will inshallah Play for Pakistan once again and bring this country Pride and Glory. Study and study as hard as possible and keep yourself fit so once you come back you take the world on. Praying for you always, a die hard fan
Abdul Samad Mughal
Mar 07, 2011 10:49am
good for him!
Farir
Mar 07, 2011 10:56am
Y r people equating getting an education to not being corrupt. Getting educated is a step in the right direction regardless of whether you are morally corrupt or not. I think Aamir should go to the US to get a degree, because americans dont know cricket so they will leave him alone. Other option, of course is to get in touch with Saeed Anwar and go for tableegh, I'm serious. I have an american education but the my best learning experience was with the tableeghi jamat...
TS
Mar 07, 2011 11:43am
I think that salman butt needs to be punished more than the others as he asked the bowlers to bowl no balls - how could have amir or asif refuse the captain! no doubt they should be pusnished but salman was the captain of the ship!
Tanveer Aftab
Mar 07, 2011 12:24pm
Yes, your decision to complete your education is absolutely correct and it will definitely enhance your career in both side of your life. Do not be dejected, you are young and you have good future both in the field of sport and education. as far as foes and friends are concerned just forget it, and concentrate it on your own. Best of luck and have faith in Aallah.
muneer
Mar 07, 2011 01:03pm
he should have been punished but not that much ...5 years is a bit too much ...no doubt, ICC is ruled by India these days and they know Amir's presence will boast pakistan's chances very much ..
Asif A
Mar 07, 2011 01:11pm
Every one makes mistakes, you did and repent. Good to know that you sound more senseable now and prostect you future in more better direction. Hope education will enhance you ability to judge good friends and bad deeds. Godluck fr your future.
M.Masroor ur Zaman
Mar 07, 2011 02:50pm
You are our Hero. you was blined to do that. But now it is good to participate in other activities and also in studies. Never bother about your past and keep going.
Shazad
Mar 07, 2011 07:23pm
Good decision but let's not forget he has an appeal lodged with Court of Arbitration for Sports so all is not lost yet. He may get his ban reduced or possibly overturned. I do agree however, that going back to education is a good move
Tahir
Mar 08, 2011 02:56am
Amir, Once Pakistan cricketers become superstars they don't know how to handle it. They think world is in their feet and does the most shamefull acts. Leran how to behave normal when people look at you, don't run after money, at this stage money will run after you. Be sober and act normal. You can go for education but it's hard because you don't have a goal for education at this time. Regards, Tahir
Kala
Mar 08, 2011 05:18am
I am CONCERNED that you as a pakistani do not want or expect an apology from someone who has been found guilty of wrong doing and bringing shame on the entire nation in the eyes of the world community. He is young should have apologised and hoped that most will forgive him as not all will ever forgive or forget. You only talk about how education will benefit him in the future showing lack of willingness and courage to correct a wrong.
Imtiaz A.
Mar 08, 2011 07:14am
Very positive step for Amir. May Allah help him to emerge a better human being from this. Please do not be hasty in criticizing and mocking people for the mistakes they did in the past and for which they are paying dearly and for which they may have already repented. Hadith: Beware of mocking a person for a sin he has already repented of, for if you do, you will not die until you are involved in the same sin!
ABBAS
Mar 08, 2011 08:16am
You would have a great carrier and lot of money.But for more money you start cheating.What kind of lesson you were trying to give our children.You and other two cheaters should have been band for life.Focus on your education and forget about cricket.You and your two other cheaters let down our beloved Pakistan.Shame on all three of you.
Insia Fatima
Mar 18, 2011 01:13pm
good decision best of luck