LONDON: Muhammad Aamir, one of three Pakistani cricketers banned by the International Cricket Council after being found guilty of spot-fixing, been excluded from being one of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack’s Five Cricketers of the Year.Wisden’s announcement of the five cricketers deemed to have made most impact on the previous English summer has long been one of the best-loved rituals of the start of the English season. But this year for the first time since 1926 it broke with convention by naming only four.Aamir was named Pakistan’s player of the series against England last summer on the very day the News of the World alleged, he and his team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were involved in a betting scam involving deliberate no-balls.The ECB chairman Giles Clarke, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, refused to shake Amir’s hand, and made no attempt to disguise his displeasure, as he handed over the trophy in a post-match ceremony at Lord’s.
Wisden’s editor, Scyld Berry, according to ‘The Guardian’, in his last act before stepping down from the role, was torn between not wishing to stigmatise Aamir ahead of a criminal trial, hence his reluctance to name. Aamir along with former captain Salman Butt and Asif have all lodged appeals against the ICC finding with the court of arbitration for sport and deny any wrongdoing.They are due to appear here in court on 20 May charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat.The news somewhat overshadows those who have been honoured. The Bangladeshi Tamim Iqbal and Irishman Eoin Morgan are the first players born in their respective countries to make a list completed by the England batsman Jonathan Trott and Chris Read, who led Nottinghamshire to the County Championship. APP