Wisden omits Pakistan player from cricketers of year

Mohammad Amir
Amir is one of three Pakistan cricketers who are contesting their bans

Wisden has named only four cricketers of the year for its 2011 edition because of the spot-fixing scandal surrounding three Pakistan players.

Wisden reduced the list after the trio were found guilty of corruption by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The revered publication has selected five players since 1926, but has picked only Tamim Iqbal, Eoin Morgan, Chris Read and Jonathan Trott this time.

Mohammad Amir is reported to be the name omitted from the traditional five.

Amir, fellow paceman Mohammad Asif and former captain Salman Butt were suspended by an ICC tribunal in February, a day after the Crown Prosecution Service announced that they would face criminal charges, along with agent Mazhar Majeed.

Last month, they were committed for trial at Southwark Crown Court on consipiracy charges, which they deny.

Wisden editor Scyld Berry did not confirm that Amir was the player omitted from the list, but told BBC Radio 5 live: "I thought that one of three players did very well for them [Pakistan] last summer in England.

"But once they had been banned by the International Cricket Council for a minimum of five years that rather disqualified them from entering our hall of fame.

"It was difficult decision but a stance has to be taken and you can't have somebody entering the hall of fame tainted by allegations of corruption and also on trial."

The ICC suspended the trio of players for their part in spot-fixing during the fourth Test at Lord's between England and Pakistan in August 2010.

Butt was banned for 10 years, with five of them suspended, Asif was handed a seven-year ban, with two of them suspended, while Amir was banned for five years.

All three men have denied wrongdoing and have filed appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Wisden has only previously broken with convention to recognise outstanding individuals WG Grace, Pelham 'Plum' Warner and Jack Hobbs, and also during World War I and World War II when competitive cricket was suspended.

The convention has been that no player can be selected more than once - with Hobbs and Warner the only exceptions.

Bangladesh opener Tamim and Irish-born batsman Morgan, who qualified to play for England in 2009, are the first players from their respective countries to make the Wisden list and ex-England wicketkeeper Read is recognised for his role in leading Nottinghamshire to the County Championship title.

Batsman Trott, meanwhile, was an expected pick after a prolific year in Test and one-day cricket for England in his first full year as an international.

England opener Alastair Cook missed out on selection as his Ashes heroics fell outside of Wisden's parameters, but he has been honoured by appearing on the cover of the famous yellow almanack, pictured celebrating his century in the Sydney Test.