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Convicted Pakistani Athlete Cleared To Resume International Career

Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Amir (left) takes part in a team practice session in Lahore on January 6.

Convicted spot fixer Mohammad Amir has been cleared to resume his international cricket career after New Zealand granted him a visa to play for Pakistan's national team later this month.

Amir, 23, was considered one of the most exciting fast bowlers in the world before the 2010 spot-fixing scandal that resulted in bans and jails sentences for him and two other Pakistani players.

Amir served six months of a three-year prison sentence and completed a five-year ban from international cricket for taking bribes to bowl no balls at specified moments in a match against England in 2010.

Amir and the two other players were cleared to return to the sport by the International Cricket Council in September.

Amir's inclusion in a 26-man training squad for the New Zealand tour had caused some controversy among Pakistani cricketers, with captain Azhar Ali offering to resign and another member of the team, Mohammad Hafeez, expressing reservations about playing with Amir.

The Pakistan Cricket Board rejected Ali's resignation.

Pakistan will play New Zealand in three Twenty20 internationals starting in Auckland, New Zealand, on January 15 and three one-day internationals later in the month.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters