Waqar and PCB chairman open to Amir return
Mohammad Amir is in consideration for Pakistan selection, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan has said. But the 23-year old fast bowler's reintegration would be a delicate process at best. It is understood that there are reservations about him being in a Pakistan dressing room again. Mohammad Hafeez has already gone public with his reluctance to play in a team that included Amir, who was suspended from international cricket for five years for his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal of 2010.
"We are considering Mohammad Amir," Shaharyar said after meeting with head coach Waqar Younis and chief selector Haroon Rasheed at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. "I have to call senior players and Amir and tell Amir that there should be modesty and humility in him. People will look to him. It looks like he has performed well over the last four-five months and is knocking on the door for us to consider him. If coach and selectors decide that he has to come, we will ask the board of governors before taking a decision on him."
Amir has been active in domestic cricket since January and became eligible to play all forms of the game from September. He is currently playing in the Bangladesh Premier League and has taken eleven wickets in eight matches for Chittagong Vikings at 14.45. His first-class form has been impressive too.
"We had a detailed discussion on Mohammad Amir and we all are on same page," Waqar said. "If he has served his punishment he deserves to come back in the community and enhance his profession. If he has been given permission to play in BPL there's no wrong thing in it. He is in very good form. He has proved it. He has proved to the ICC, he has proved to the PCB that he is on the right track and it's our responsibility that we should give him another opportunity."
Pakistan are also racing against time to identify their best XI for limited-overs cricket. Following the World Cup, they have played four series. They beat Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe but lost to Bangladesh and England.
Two players - Iftikhar Ahmed and Zafar Gohar - were given ODI debuts and two others - Aamer Yamin and Rafatullah Mohmand - made their T20I debuts against England in the UAE. However, Shaharyar stressed with the World T20 only three months away, the time for experimentation was over.
"You need to have consistency of selection with the World Twenty20 coming up. The time for experiments is over," Shaharyar said. "Don't do experiments and look at T20 championship. Continuity is very important and there is no room for experimentation any more. I have full confidence in selection committee and the coach.
"I've talked to chief selector and chief coach. Obviously when we lose one-day and T20 series we come under criticism, people raise questions. I believe that whatever cricketing reasons they gave, I am satisfied. There was no favoritism in team selection. Those who understand cricket [know] you sometimes succeed with your experiments and sometimes you fail. They gave me valid cricketing reasons and honestly, they tried whatever was good for the Pakistan team."
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson