Pakistan news

PCB hires psychologist to help Amir

Umar Farooq

June 9, 2012

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Mohammad Amir returns to Pakistan, Lahore, February 26, 2012
"PCB has been planning for his educational programme and is starting with the psychologist to support him after the fallout of the spot-fixing scam" © Associated Press

The PCB has hired a psychologist to help banned fast bowler Mohammad Amir with his rehabilitation. Amir was released from jail in February after serving half of his six-month sentence for his role in the spot-fixing scam and was banned from cricket till 2015 by an ICC tribunal.

The PCB is keen to welcome Amir back to top-flight cricket once he has served his ICC ban. The PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf has been insisting that Amir would be given financial support while undergoing rehabilitation.

"A psychologist, namely (Maqbool) Babri, has been hired for Amir," PCB director education Wasim Bari told ESPNcricinfo. "PCB has been planning for his educational programme and is starting with the psychologist to support him after the fallout of the spot-fixing scam.

"He will have sessions as a part of his psychological rehabilitation and later will decide his further educational programme," Bari said. "The influence of the incident obviously added some ill feelings and memories with Amir that need to be sorted out to give him a fresh state of mind." He didn't reveal the duration of the programme or when it starts.

Soon after Amir's release from jail, he decided not to appeal against the ICC's ban before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The ICC advised him to undergo a rehabilitation programme, and recently he appeared in an educational video on behalf of the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit.

The PCB arranged a rehab programme starting with Babri, who will be a familiar face for Amir. Babri, a psychotherapist and a certified clinical hypnotherapist, had earlier been hired during Pakistan's conditional camp in 2009 before their victorious World Twenty20 campaign.

"It's a challenge for me but I will do my best to counsel Amir so that he can find his way back to international cricket," Babri told AFP. "Amir is an exceptional talent and we must help him regain his place."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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