Pakistan news January 1, 2016

Afridi 'happy' to have Amir back in team

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shahid Afridi, Pakistan's T20 captain, has backed the selection of Mohammad Amir in Pakistan's limited-overs squads for their tour of New Zealand. Amir's selection was his first since he served his ban for spot-fixing in the Lord's Test of 2010.

"Happy to have Amir back in team," Afridi tweeted on Friday. "He told me truth first time I asked him in England. He admitted his mistake we should back him now. Amir spoke the truth both to courts and the Pakistani public. Unlike the rest who kept lying for two-three years."

Amir's selection was a subject of heated debate even among the Pakistan squad, with Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali making it clear they would not welcome him back. Hafeez and Azhar stayed away from a probables camp that included Amir, only returning after the intervention of PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan. Azhar then offered his resignation as ODI captain, before Shaharyar talked him around to withdrawing it.

Afridi said he respected Azhar and Hafeez's stance. "We suffered a lot due to spot fixing scandal and our image was tarnished everywhere," he tweeted.

But he stressed the need to move forward. "We now need to move on and I will back Amir and expect him to serve Pakistan cricket with total dedication and commitment."