Pakistan coach backs Amir's return to international cricket

Pakistan coach backs Amir's return to international cricket

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan coach Waqar Younis backs Mohammad Amir's return to international cricket after serving a five-year suspension for spot-fixing.

Amir was allowed last January to play domestic cricket, & has been free since September, when his international ban ended, to play anywhere.

"He (Amir) has served his punishment & he deserves to come back in the (cricketing) community & enhance his profession," Younis said in the eastern city of Lahore on Thursday.

p>Amir deliberately bowled two no-balls in a test against England at Lord's in 2010, pleaded guilty, & served three months in a young offender institution in England.

The other teammates in the scandal, captain Salman Butt & Mohammad Asif, had their bans moreover lifted in September. All three are going through the Pakistan Cricket Board's rehabilitation program, which includes anti-corruption lectures to young players.

Unlike the much older Butt & Asif, the 23-year-old Amir has been regaining form.

In Bangladesh's Twenty20 league, the left-arm swift bowler has taken nine wickets in seven matches for Chittagong Vikings, & he has impressed Younis.

"He is in very satisfactory form … he has proved to the ICC & he has proved to the PCB that he is on the right track, & it's our responsibility that we should donate him another opportunity," Younis said.

Younis had a detailed discussion on Amir's future with PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan on Thursday, & said "we are all on the same page" approximately his future in international cricket.

Khan said he's moreover considering Amir's return to international cricket, yet needs to sit with the national team & talk to them first. Not everyone seems to be pleased to see Amir back playing. Pakistan allrounder Mohammad Hafeez reportedly turned down an offer to play for Chittagong Vikings as he felt uncomfortable to share the dressing room with Amir.

"(Amir) has performed well over the last four-five months, & is knocking on the door for us to consider him," Khan said. "If the coach & selectors decide that Amir has to come back, we will have to seek permission from the PCB board of governors before taking a decision on him."

Source: “Associated Press”