DHAKA: Disgraced cricketer Mohammad Amir dazzled in his first match outside Pakistan in five years as Bangladesh’s scandal-hit Twenty20 tournament resumed Sunday.
The tournament was stopped after its second edition in 2013 due to match-fixing allegations, while Amir was banned from international cricket in 2010 for accepting money to orchestrate deliberate no-balls in the Lord’s Test against England.
Amir grabbed 4-30 including two wickets in two balls as he underlined the talent which before the ban had prompted many to compare him to cricket greats.
The 23-year-old’s return to the spotlight, however, was spoiled by Misbah-ul Haq, who smashed 61 off 39 balls to lead Rangpur Riders to a thrilling two-wicket win over his Chittagong Vikings in the opening match.
Amir’s five-year ban ended in September and he has already set his sights on next year’s ICC world Twenty20.
Misbah, who was eventually bowled out by a brilliant Amir yorker, said he supported the pacer’s participation in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
“For Amir, I think it (the BPL) is good for him,” Misbah told reporters in Dhaka on Saturday.
“He has been playing domestic cricket. So it’s a tournament where he can share the experience of some of the international players and see where he is at the moment.”
Misbah’s comments came in response to a question about whether he supported the view of team-mate Mohammad Hafeez, who refused an offer to play for Chittagong Vikings, saying he could not share the same dressing room with Amir.
The BPL, which started in 2012 as a copy-cat version of the high-flying Indian Cricket League (IPL), was suspended indefinitely after the second edition amid revelations former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful and four others were involved in match fixing.
The tournament, which drew talent from around the world, was also tainted by salary issues, including franchises failing to pay match fees to scores of players.
Nearly 50 foreign cricketers, including Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and the West Indies’ Chris Gayle are participating in the tournament.
Bangladesh cricket officials have said the authorities will engage anti-corruption officers to tackle any match-fixing issues.