PCB optimistic of Amir's visa chances

The Pakistan Cricket Board is optimistic about left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Amir's chances of gaining a visa to tour England with the Pakistan squad next month, as despite being an offender in the land he could be issued visa as an exception.

Mohammad Amir made his presence felt with impressive performances in the Asia Cup and World Twenty20 this year.   -  AP

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is optimistic that left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir will be issued a visa to travel to the United Kingdom with the Pakistan squad next month.

A top PCB official told PTI that although it was obvious that being a convicted offender Amir couldn’t apply for a visa for a certain period of time, he could be issued a visa as an exception. "The good thing is that he wasn’t technically deported from the UK like the other two - Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif - in the spot fixing case," the official said.

PCB’s legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi said that while Butt was deported after serving half of his sentence under a agreement, Amir was "administratively removed" from the UK. "Butt can’t apply for a visa until 2020 but in Amir’s case, there is a chance, and the PCB is pursuing his case separately just as it did when the Pakistan team went to New Zealand last winter," Rizvi said.

ECB cooperating

He pointed out that when Amir was travelling to New Zealand, the New Zealand Cricket Board had cooperated a lot with the PCB. "Even in this case, the England and Wales Cricket Board is helping us as much as they can in preparing a case for a exception to be made in Amir’s case," he said.

Rizvi said that there was sympathy for Amir as he was very young when the spot-fixing scandal took place and was the first to confess and cooperate with the authorities in the investigations. But the PCB’s legal advisor made it clear that it was not necessary that if Amir got a visa for New Zealand it would be the same for UK.

Discretion of the UK

"Every country has its own laws and rules and it is their absolute discretion what they decide. Even after a visa is issued, a country’s immigration authorities can refuse entry," he noted.

A source said that the PCB was waiting for a green signal from the ECB and UK High Commission before it filed documents for the visa of Amir.

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