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Amir's tainted Wisden goes under auction

Mohammad Amir put his name on the Lord's honours board before being caught in a newspaper sting PA Photos

A 2011 leather-bound copy of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, that was withheld from Mohammad Amir following his conviction for spot-fixing, is expected to break records as it goes under auction this week.

Although Amir was never officially named as the player in question, it is widely known that he was the absentee when Wisden's then-editor, Scyld Berry, took the unprecedented step of naming four Cricketers of the Year for the 2011 publication, instead of the usual five.

Amir, then 18, had been one of the stars of Pakistan's Test tour of England the previous summer, claiming 19 wickets at 18.36 in four Tests, only to be exposed by a News of the World sting midway through the final match of the series at Lord's.

He was banned from cricket for five years for deliberately bowling no-balls to order, and subsequently received a jail sentence following a trial at Southwark Crown Court. Reflecting on the events of the previous summer, and on his choices for Cricketer of the Year in the 2011 Almanack, Berry wrote:

"Originally I selected five, in accordance with custom. Serious allegations of corruption were then made against one of them, and subsequent events rendered his selection in my opinion unsustainable.

"Since 1890, five has always been the number of the Cricketers of the Year, except when a player has been so colossal as to be honoured on his own, such as WG Grace in 1896. It is sad to break this tradition, but I considered that an exception was unavoidable this year, and it points up the realities that confront the modern game."

The leather-bound volume is the fifth of the first five of 150 numbered copies produced every year for collectors. The previous record for a Wisden Almanack was set in 2014, when a leatherbound copy of the 1995 edition was sold at auction for £2,824.

The book is under auction at Wisdenauction.com, with the sale due to be completed on December 8.