Pakistan news August 2, 2009

Zahid wants Aamer to be handled with care

Cricinfo staff

Former Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Zahid has urged the Pakistan selectors, captain and coach to handle young pace sensation Mohammad Aamer with care.

"I'm very impressed with Aamer, he is a very talented cricketer, but I worry a lot about him," Zahid told Pakpassion.net. "He's a very young man, only 17 years of age, and he's bowling at 90 mph plus. Also, physically he doesn't look strong enough yet to be playing so much international cricket, especially Test cricket"

"They [the selectors] are selecting him for all three forms of the game, which I think is too much for him. I'd rather they didn't play him in a lot of Test cricket at this stage of his career which is physically so demanding especially for a fast bowler."

Zahid's reservations are justified after a serious back injury cut short his own international career. He represented Pakistan in five Tests and 11 ODIs, and was recognised as one of Pakistan's quickest ever bowlers.

Zahid, 33, was worried whether Aamer's lean body could take the pressure of bowling fast "day in, day out". "The skipper, coach and the selectors need to come up with a plan for Aamer for the next couple of years, take proper care of him and ensure he is still a potent force for years to come and not suffering from burnt out," said Zahid. "They need to ensure that he is getting plenty of rest, maybe intentionally missing one-day matches and Test matches".

"Aamer is Pakistan's ace as far as fast bowling is concerned and they can least afford to get this boy injured".

While former Pakistan captains Ramiz Raja and Waqar Younis have also expressed their concerns on Aamer's workload on air as commentators during the ongoing series in Sri Lanka, Wasim Akram said Aamer would need to put on weight to add more power to his bowling.