Karachi: The debate over whether tainted left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir should be allowed to play for Pakistan again has created a big divide in Pakistan cricket with former cricketers Mohammad Yousuf and Ramiz Raja engaging in a war of words on the issue during a TV show.
The two waded into each other and used some very personal, coarse and unrefined language against each other on national television during a show on Geo Super channel.
The offensive exchange of words took place over the issue of Amir with Yousuf claiming Ramiz didn't know cricket, was a "Sifarashi" player and good only to be a teacher. Yousuf went one step further when he made some personal remarks against the former Test captain-turned-commentator.
It drew a sharp response from Ramiz as he lost his cool on air and termed Yousuf, who sports a beard, as a fake Mullah who tells lies and who caused havoc in Pakistan cricket.
Mohammad Amir, who is almost on the verge of making a comeback to the national team, has a tainted past having dealt with accusations of spot-fixing early on in his career. (AP Photo)
The clips of the exchange soon became the talk of the social media with many former players, fans and critics expressing disappointment over the language used by both former stalwarts.
Pakistan's former Test captain Rashid Latif said what happened should never have happened and was most unfortunate.
"I have played with both these players. They are looked upon with respect by the fans. It does not pass on the right message to anyone," Latif said.
Ramiz has been clear about his views on allowing Amir back into the national team.
"My views are clear to everyone but this is a decision that the Pakistan Cricket Board has to take and only time will tell whether they took the right decision or not," Ramiz said.
"I thought the PCB could have handled the Amir matter in a better manner," he added.
One of Pakistan's senior players Mohammad Hafeez and national one-day captain Azhar Ali both refused to train with Amir in the national training camp in Lahore but later agreed to return on the intervention of the PCB chief Shaharyar Khan.
Ramiz said he was happy that the matter was resolved and Hafeez and Azhar both returned to the camp. "But the Aamir issue has reached a very delicate stage now," he said.
Responding to remarks from Yousuf that Amir was the world's best bowler and that someone had instigated Azhar Ali, Ramiz said neither was Amir the world's best bowler nor did anyone instigate Azhar.
"I thought they took a brave stand," he added.