Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir's return to competitive cricket has been delayed by excessive rain in the upper Punjab. He was set to represent Omar Associates in the Patron's Trophy Grade-II Tournament at the Army Cricket Ground in Rawalpindi but persistent rain over the last week saw the ground and the pitch completely waterlogged.
The day started with bright sun out but the field remained wet all over, with little prospect of the ground drying. The first day of the three-day contest against Pakistan Army was abandoned as the field was deemed unfit to play. The umpires continued inspecting conditions all day but did not even get around to the toss.
Amir, 22, was recently allowed by the ICC to play domestic cricket under the auspices of the PCB, though he continues to be banned from featuring in international cricket until September 2. But his early comeback has suffered a temporary disappointment.
The chances of the match going ahead on day two are already bleak, although unbroken sunshine might make the ground playable by tea.
Amir's return to cricket has been opposed by some former players and had also been challenged in Sindh High Court. However despite every opposition, the PCB managed to pave the way for him to cricket.
As per the ICC's new anti-corruption code, banned players could be allowed to return to domestic cricket before the end of their penalty if they meet certain criteria. In the last four years, Amir has completed an Anti Corruption and Security Unit education program with the PCB, showed a high degree of remorse, and disclosed relevant information to the PCB as well as the anti-corruption units.
Amir debuted in 2009 and became one of cricket's hottest pace bowling prospects. He was the youngest bowler to have taken 50 Test wickets. But at the same time he was also the youngest cricketer to have been banned from all cricket, for five years, and to have pleaded guilty to corruption.
He was subsequently sentenced in November 2011 at Southwark Crown Court of 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. He spent three months in Portland Young Offenders Institution in Dorset for his part in a spot-fixing scam.