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Power of second chance

Pakistan’s Mohammed Aamir celebrates after taking the wicket of Indian captain Virat Kohli during the ICC Champions Trophy final at The Oval on Sunday. Aamir devastated the most fancied batting line-up in the world by taking the wickets of Rohit Sharma (0), Kohli (5) and Shikhar Dhawan (21), doing so in a country where he had served time for spot-fixing.

On November 3, 2011, three Pakistan cricketers, including Aamir, were escorted from the dock by British prison officers after being handed jail sentences. Aamir, who at the time of his crime in 2010 was only 18 years old, was given a six-month sentence after he pleaded guilty and was taken to a young offenders’ institution.  He was released after serving half his sentence. Even during his conviction, it had been said that he was an impressionable youth who had been misled by his seniors. 

When he returned to Test cricket at Lord’s last year after a five-year ban, he was given a generous reception by the spectators.

On Sunday, after winning the Champions Trophy, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said: “Not just today, not just tomorrow, this day will be remembered in Pakistan for years to come.” Report by Amit Roy, picture by AFP


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