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Mohammad Amir’s tainted Wisden Almanack set to go under the hammer

Mohammad Amir
Mohammad Amir of Pakistan. (Photo by Sarah Ansell/Getty Images)

A hard bound leather copy of the 2011 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack which was withheld from Mohammad Amir after the left-arm pacer was found guilty of spot-fixing is all set to break records as it goes under the hammer this week. Though Amir’s name was never officially stated as the player in doubt, it is widely understood that his name was omitted from the list by Wisden’s then editor Scyld Berry following his involvement in spot-fixing.

He named four Cricketers of the year for the 2011 publication, instead of the usual five. Amir who was only 17 during the spot-fixing debacle was one of the star performers for Pakistan in the series. He bagged 19 wickets at an impressive average of 18.36, only to be exposed by a News of the World midway through the final match of the series at Lord’s.

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Amir was banned for five years after bowling two deliberate no-balls in return for hefty sums from a bookmaker. Pakistan’s then captain Salman Butt was the mastermind in the act as he convinced Amir and Asif to bowl those deliberate no balls. He subsequently received a prison sentence after a trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Recalling that fateful summer and on his choices for the Cricketers of the Year in the 2011 Almanack, Berry wrote, “Originally I selected five, in accordance with custom. Serious allegations of corruption were then made against one of them, and subsequent events rendered his selection in my opinion, unsustainable.

“Since 1890, five has always been the number of the Cricketers of the Year, except when a player has been so colossal as to be honoured on his own, such as WG Grace in 1896. It is sad to break this tradition, but I considered that an exception was unavoidable this year, and it points up the realities that confront the modern game,” the editor said.

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