PCB seeks legal advice on visa hurdle for Amir
The Pakistan Cricket Board has sought legal advice on whether Mohammad Amir can get a visa to travel with the national side to New Zealand in January. Amir served three months in jail for his role in the 2010 spot-fixing case and New Zealand has rules against granting visas to individuals with criminal convictions.
New Zealand's immigration authority, on its website, states that "People with criminal convictions or who have provided false or misleading information will not be granted a visa unless a character waiver is granted." It further specifies that, "In the case of character waivers, each application is considered on its individual merits and taking into account, for example, the seriousness of an offence, number of offences and how long ago the event/s occurred."
Amir's visa for England was rejected last year and the PCB suspects that his case for the New Zealand series will be weak. ESPNcricinfo understands that PCB has engaged legal advice from England and has taken Amir's lawyer on board in case there is a need to present evidence again.
Amir was recently named in a 26-member squad for a conditioning camp and could be selected for the first time in five years for Pakistan's upcoming limited-overs series in New Zealand. He completed his educational rehabilitation programme after serving a five-year ban for his role in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal.
In November 2011, Amir - along with Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif - was sentenced in a London Court on charges conspiracy to accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat at gambling after a plot was uncovered in a News of the World sting operation to bowl deliberate no-balls in a Test against England in 2010.
Amir was given a six-month jail sentence and served half of it at the Portland Young Offenders Institution in Dorset. In January this year, Amir was allowed to return to cricket ahead of schedule by the ICC. His five-year suspension period formally ended on September 1.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson