Home > Features >

Ironic announcements: Mohammad Aamer and the Wisden awards

Mohammad Aamer © AFP
Mohammad Aamer is set to return to cricket © AFP

By Abhishek Mukherjee

Though Mohammad Aamer had made his Test debut in 2009-10, it was his spectacular performance in the English summer that had propelled him to the next level. Seldom has the cricket world witnessed such talent in a teenager: to some he was a reincarnated Wasim Akram; to others, a first of its kind — a more matured version of a teenage Wasim.

His records were extraordinary for a teenager: 51 wickets from 14 Tests at 29.09 and 25 wickets from 15 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) at 24.00 and an economy of 4.56. He was destined to become one of the greats of his generation.

Then came the spot-fixing scam, taking the world of cricket by shock. Mike Atherton wrote, “Nasser Hussain, who I once saw walking around the team hotel in Sri Lanka in the early hours of the morning before a Test match unable to sleep, so worried was he about his form, spoke for us all when he said, ‘Please don’t let it be the kid’.” They were certainly not the only ones to be surprised and hopeful.

They had all wanted Aamer to play. He, after all, was special — the likes of whom had not been seen in cricket for a long, long time. The five-year ban for the teenager came as a rude shock to the world of cricket.

According to the amended ICC anti-corruption to be implemented from June (that deals with reducing the ban periods for players convicted under match-fixing), Aamer is likely to return to cricket sometime this year. He will be roaring to go at the batsmen again, and, in all probability, leave the cricket fraternity in awe again.

By the time suspensions and bans were being dished out to Aamer (along with Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif) Wisden had already named their list of five cricketers of 2011: along with Tamim Iqbal, Eoin Morgan, Chris Read, and Jonathan Trott, Aamer was also picked. However, with things taking a fresh turn, Wisden had, for the first time in their history, decided to scrap Aamer’s name from the list and go with only four players.

Scyld Berry, in what turned out to be his last act as the editor of Wisden, later said, “If the player in question were exonerated, then it would be possible to reconsider the position. That’s why I didn’t pick anyone else instead. But as things stand, we don’t feel we can choose him. It’s all very sad.”

Somewhere in this world, news must have reached Aamer that Wisden have chosen this year’s quintet as well. He must have known by now that the man on the cover of the almanac was another teenage prodigy — and among the most celebrated men in the history of the sport. He did everything right at an age when Aamer had done everything wrong.

It may not have been too late for the southpaw yet. It is not difficult to brush aside dark memories of the past, but it is not impossible either. He would only be too happy to make amends, and the world will be waiting for him to return. Memories of the summer of 2010 are still fresh in everyone’s minds.

He may also find a place in that coveted list of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year. The Bible of cricket, as we are aware of, does not allow the same person to appear on the list twice; there is, however, nothing mentioned about a person who has been taken off a list not making his way back.

That would be the ultimate redemption, just the way it happens in movies.

Welcome back, Aamer. You have been missed.

This article first appeared in DNA.

 (Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

Amla feels Proteas more acclimatised to conditions

Pakistan eye victory as Australia reel at 59/4 at stumps on Day 4

Suresh Raina gifts Aditya Garhwal an autographed bat

Dwayne Bravo says West Indies pull-out had everybody’s consent

Bangladesh gain upper-hand over Zimbabwe at stumps on Day 1 of 1st Test

David Warner and others with records related to hundreds in consecutive Test innings

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone to meet South Zone in final

Pakistan eye victory as Australia reel at 59/4 at stumps on Day 4

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: David Warner admits that Australia is not scared of big targets

Suresh Raina gifts Aditya Garhwal an autographed bat

Dwayne Bravo says West Indies pull-out had everybody’s consent

Younis Khan scores 26th ton to establish Pakistan record

Younis Khan becomes seventh Pakistani cricketer to score two hundreds in a Test

Virat Kohli and others with 20 ODI hundreds

David Warner and others with records related to hundreds in consecutive Test innings

Strangers, Brothers and Cricket— the English novelist CP Snow’s lasting passion for the game

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Apple to merge Beats Music with iTunes next year as music sales fall 14 percent in 2014: WSJ

Shahid Kapoor’s Haider screened at Rome Film Festival!

Dhanush’s Vellai Illa Pattadhaari completes 100 days!

Dear IAF, every smartphone not just Xiaomi could be a security threat

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here