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Mohammad Amir

Pakistan's Amir applies for UK visa

Fast bowler faces an anxious wait to discover whether he will be permitted to tour England with Pakistan

Pakistan paceman Mohammad Amir is waiting to find out whether he will be permitted to tour England after submitting his visa application to the UK high commission in Islamabad on Friday.

Amir could be denied a visa for his country's upcoming tour of England, following his conviction in the 2010 spot-fixing controversy.

Amir pleaded guilty to spot-fixing charges and was banned from cricket for five years as well as being required to spend six months in a juvenile offenders' institute for his role in the scandal, with this criminal record meaning a return to the UK is at the discretion of the government.

"I have written a letter to the high commissioner seeking special and sympathetic consideration on Amir’s visa,” Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan confirmed.

"The England and Wales Cricket Board is also assisting and are in touch with their home department, so we hope for a positive response."

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Pakistan are due to return to England for the first time since that 2010 tour, and Amir, who has returned impressively to the international game in the past six months, is expected to be a key figure for the tourists.

However, he first has to clear British immigration authorities, who could prevent him from accessing a visa due to his criminal history.

New Zealand have provided a blueprint for the situation already, with Amir touring the country with Pakistan's limited-overs squad in January.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) presented the left-arm quick with a visitor visa and acknowledged the input of both country's Cricket Boards in coming to the decision.

"In making this decision, INZ considered factors including the support of the New Zealand and Pakistan Cricket Board and that Mr Amir had served his sentence for his previous actions," INZ Area Manager Michael Carley told stuff.co.nz in January.

"Taking into account all the circumstances and with full understanding of the purpose of his visit, a visa has been approved for Mr Amir."

The ECB has played down any suggestion it is actively helping Amir’s case for a return this summer, stating the decision is ultimately one for the UK government, with its sole involvement in assisting the government with any information required.

Should Amir’s visa be granted, there is the very real possibility the 24-year-old will play his first Test in six years in the series opener at Lord's – the same venue at which he committed his spot-fixing offences.

CATO Sri Lanka