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Visa Woes for Mohammad Amir Ahead of T20I Series in Ireland

The Pakistan cricket team is poised to embark on a pivotal tour of Ireland today, with the three-match T20 International (T20I) series slated to commence on May 10. This series is deemed a crucial phase in their preparation for the T20 World Cup, which is set to unfold starting June 1 in the West Indies and the USA. However, the squad will set off without Mohammad Amir, one of their key bowlers, due to delays in his visa processing.

Amir’s visa application is still under consideration, leaving him unable to travel with his teammates. The issue at hand stems from his past—a jail sentence and subsequent ban resulting from the infamous spot-fixing scandal in 2010 that marred his career and the sport’s integrity. This is not the first instance where Amir’s history has impeded his participation; a similar situation arose in 2018 when Pakistan toured Ireland and England. Nevertheless, on that occasion, the visa was eventually granted.

A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) source conveyed optimism that the complication would resolve shortly, stating, “Because of the spot-fixing case of 2010 and his subsequent jail term and ban, his visa is still being processed. We are hopeful he will get his visa in a day or two, and he can join the team later.” The source’s comment to PTI underscores the board’s hope that Amir will unite with the Pakistan team in Ireland within the next couple of days.

For several players on the Pakistani squad, the stakes are particularly high as they aim to cement their spots for the World Cup. The team is also inching closer to the deadline for the announcement of the final squad, which is set for May 25, adding another layer of urgency to the tour. Following the series in Ireland and before the T20 World Cup, Pakistan is scheduled to engage in four T20I matches against England, marking their last assignment ahead of the global event.

Looking ahead, the tour’s itinerary is as follows:

May 10 – 1st T20I
May 12 – 2nd T20I
May 14 – 3rd T20I

Pakistan’s squad for Ireland consists of several potent players, including captain Babar Azam, the formidable Fakhar Zaman, emerging talents like Saim Ayub and Irfan Khan, all-rounders such as Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan, and prolific wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan. With a blend of experience and youthful exuberance, the team has an arsenal ranging from aggressive batsmen to ingenious bowlers. The squad also features fast bowlers like Haris Rauf, Hassan Ali, Abbas Afridi, and the young speed sensation Shaheen Afridi.

In absence of Amir, Pakistan’s bowling resources will face scrutiny. As they strive for victory on Irish soil, it is imperative to forge a cohesive unit capable of challenging the robust batting line-ups they will encounter during the World Cup.

Despite the hiccup posed by Amir’s visa impediment, the team must maintain their focus and adapt to the conditions of foreign pitches. With the World Cup on the horizon and the international cricket community keenly observing, Pakistan will look to reassert their status as one of cricket’s formidable T20 forces.

As the team boards the flight bound for Ireland, they carry the aspirations of millions of Pakistani cricket fans and the silent hope that Amir’s visa situation resolves swiftly so he, too, can join his comrades in what promises to be a highly competitive and captivating prelude to the T20 World Cup.