Pakistan news June 19, 2012

'Amir must return to cricket more focussed' - psychologist‎

Maqbool Babri, the psychologist working with banned Pakistan fast-bowler Mohammad Amir, has said that he is looking to make him more focussed so that he can return to cricket after his rehabilitation process and be "an example". Amir's week-long stint with Babri began on Saturday in Lahore.

Babri, who was hired by the PCB to work with Amir, told ESPNcricinfo that his client had already acknowledged where he went wrong and wanted to put the past behind him. "He is an exceptional cricketing talent," Babri said. "He admitted his mistake and paid a lot for it. He must return to cricket to be a living example for the cricketing world, or people might forget about his talent.

"He understands cricket is a profession. He is in good shape - in control and surprisingly positive - and is very passionate about cricket. But he needs to be focussed and I will help him get into the right frame of mind."

The ICC had banned Amir, 20, for five years after he was found guilty of spot-fixing during a Test at Lord's in 2010. He spent three months in a British juvenile detention centre, before being released in February. The ICC had also banned Mohammad Asif and captain Salman Butt for the same offence.

"The scenario for Amir is unique because he is still young and has plenty of time ahead of him, even after he completes his five-year ban," Babri, who had also counseled the likes of Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shahzad and Zulqarnain Haider last month, said. "I don't feel the same about Salman and Asif, their career might be over before their ban ends. Everyone makes mistakes and people are jailed for their reform. It is the action that needs to condemned, not the person. Amir is an interesting person and has been very well groomed as a cricketer."

Edited by Carlyle Laurie

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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