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New Zealand visa granted to Mohammad Amir

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Mohammad Amir

Mohammad Amir will travel with the Pakistan squad to New Zealand for the limited-overs’ tour after he was granted a visa by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) on Thursday (January 7).

“Immigration New Zealand can confirm that a visitor visa has been approved for Mohammad Amir to travel as part of the Pakistan Cricket Team set to tour New Zealand this month,” Michael Carley, INZ area manager, told stuff.co.nz. “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.”

The series comprises of three One-Day Internationals and as many Twenty20 Internationals for which Amir was picked. There were concerns on whether he could get a visa to the country given that New Zealand have rules against handing out visas to those with criminal convictions and Amir had served a three-month sentence for his role in the 2010 spot-fixing case.

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

Earlier in 2014, Amir was rejected a visa to travel to England and the PCB was wary of the same in the case for New Zealand.Both David White, New Zealand Cricket’s CEO, and Brendon McCullum were all for Amir’s inclusion. “He was a very, very young man, a boy really. He showed remorse at the time, admitted to it,” White said. “He’s gone through all the rehabilitation and education as prescribed by the ICC. I’m personally comfortable with him coming to New Zealand and playing.”

“He was a very young man at the time and he’s gone through a sound rehabilitation program,” McCullum had told AP. “If he gets out on the field against us, then you play against the man you’re playing against, not a man who may have made some mistakes as a youngster.”

Amir will leave for New Zealand on January 9 with the rest of the squad. The first of the three T20Is will be played in Auckland on January 15.

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