It is said that your life flashes in front of your eyes at the time of your death. This was not death. He had already faced death once, been on death’s doorway, battling dengue fever when he was 15, surviving on drips of glucose 24 hours a day. This was beyond death. The final nail in the coffin containing the corpse of his innocence
As he slumped forward, covering his face with his long fingers (the portion not already covered by his long hair), he reflected back at how he had landed in this particular situation. He had burst on the scene as a effervescent, ebullient star. Plucked from obscurity from an obscure village & propelled onto the biggest stage, he had taken to all of it as naturally like he was born to do just this. Ever willing to shoulder responsibility, belying his age and slender frame, his was the face that adorned the walls of his poverty ridden, war torn village as well as a thousand other similar village and ultimately, his turbulent country. Darling of the media, love & affection of the public, respect, awe & acceptance from the veterans of an older generation, the future seemed really bright. Instead……
Avoiding eye contact with anyone, barely even hearing the verdict, for he knew what it would be, he walked out of the court in a daze, to the nearest rest room. As his eyes filled up, his controlled rage broke up and found a target in the judges thinking What do they know of poverty. Born & brought up in riches, how could they understand the difference that a few thousand pounds would make to himself, his family & his village. From extreme poverty to a meaningful life of comfort, thats all he wanted, nothing more.
His rage-fueled thoughts found another outlet in his erstwhile bowling partner and his captain. In a parallel world, he would not have been so naive, gullible & greedy and instead, would have thrown the offer (& the money) back at their faces. In an alternate world, he would have chickened out, his fear of being caught would have outweighed his greed. In another multiverse, he would have actually gone ahead & reported to the authorities.
But this being the real world, he had to face the consequences for the choice that he had made. With all the confidence of an 18 year old, he never imagined that he would be caught or even if caught, be punished so severely. Drying his eyes, blaming himself as much as his partners, he stepped out to face the media & his fans. Presenting a brave face, he talked of the inevitable appeal that his lawyer would be drafting shortly. But deep, within himself, he knew his time was up presently. 5 year, 5 long years, of not doing something which he had spent all his time doing. Bowling. Mohammed Amir looked up and promised to himself”I will be back”
PS: It indeed is a sad saga that someone as richly talented as Mohammed Amir had to suffer this humiliation as well as the penalty. While it is painful not to have this talented youngster buzzing around working magic with the ball, for once ICC has made the right decision. A strong action needed to be taken. Hopefully, time still being on Amir’s side, we shall see him in another 5 years. Until then, so long, ace.