Pakistan news January 4, 2016

I want to give back with my heart and soul - Amir


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Wahab welcomes Amir return

Mohammad Amir, the Pakistan fast bowler, who is returning to international cricket after a five-year ban for spot fixing, has said he is aware the process of regaining the cricket community's trust would be slow, and that he hoped to win it with his performance.

Amir, 23, was selected in Pakistan's ODI and T20I squads for the tour of New Zealand in January, subject to his visa being granted given that he had pleaded guilty to a criminal charge in the United Kingdom.

"I am a different person this time," Amir told ESPNcricinfo. "My vision about life has changed and now I am more positive. I have experienced a lot at such a minor age. I don't know about the future and nobody knows what will happen next. As a professional sportsman I can only give my best shot to win the trust back.

"I know it is a slow process and I will definitely win it with my performance. I am determined to do this for the fans who stood by me … now it's all about their pride and I will be the guardian of their trust."

When asked why people should trust him again, Amir said: "This is tricky. If anyone says you are bad this mean he wants you to be good, and I am here to be good and I want to be good. If they say I have done bad then they should also give me a chance to change myself for good. I need their support and I will prove to them that I am a changed person.

"I know people madly in love with cricket, they got hurt, and they now should trust me only because I want to give back their love for cricket, by performing. I want them to trust me because they lost something because of me and I want to give back with my whole heart and soul."

Amir's inclusion in the Pakistan squad was not received well by senior batsman Mohammad Hafeez and ODI captain Azhar Ali. They did not attend a few days of the training camp in Lahore under protest, and Azhar offered to resign as captain, but the PCB mediated and smoothened out the issues.

Amir said he was not hurt by Hafeez and Azhar's stance. "Everyone has an opinion and I respect that," he said. "It's their right to express whatever they felt and I am not hurt at all. You can't push and force people to do what they don't want to do. Whatever they said it was their opinion and I believe if there are issues it should be addressed, discussed. Credit should be given to the board as it intervened and united us all together.

"In the camp I met all, and I am happy they all heard me. I am lucky they understood me and now the atmosphere is good around me. I think it's more of communication gap as five years are a lot. I think when you mix with them and talk to them they automatically start realising and see that I am a changed person so I think with time things will be good."

Amir had made his international debut in 2009 and played 14 Tests before he was exposed for bowling deliberate no-balls during the Lord's Test in 2010. He understood that it would be hard to win trust in England, where his trial played out, but hoped the country would accept him again through his performance.

"I think time will tell. But I know when they see me playing they will see good things and I hope they will accept me. Playing cricket in England is what I am looking forward to and I would love to bowl at Lord's again. Fans - no matter where they are in Pakistan or England or wherever - were hurt, I know that and the most important goal is to win them all."

The full interview with Mohammad Amir will be published on January 5

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • David on January 7, 2016, 4:03 GMT

    They say reformation is the primary goal of penalty. The man transgressed was tried and has served his sentence.. Now he deserves a chance to show that he is a reformed man... Good luck Mr.Aamir

  • Mohammad Asad on January 5, 2016, 20:54 GMT

    Its a great interview. Good luck Amir !!!!

  • nuraiz on January 5, 2016, 17:50 GMT

    @scooby_007 WELL the comparison was b/w AUS VS PAK. Still mate. Was always a big fan of pakistan bowling but not the batting( Except for Inzi and M Yousaf). PAK has won more matches due to extraordinary bowling than batting. (admit it or not, its a fact). As for BD I accept the mediocrity but things are changing not by chance i assure u that. we haven't achieved anything yet but the future is definitely more brighter than before. I also pray that pakistan may reproduce a class act in batting they once had before.(BTW im a mighty fan of yours AMIR )

  • Yasir on January 5, 2016, 15:19 GMT

    wow...what an interview and changed person this boy has come out. i almost drop tears at the end where he mention to bowl at lords again. i can see in him the regret pain and then positive enforcement.. all credit goes to ICC and PCB for his rehab and supporting fans..and off-course Amir him self who wants to bring pride for country as a payback... one of the best article i have read where emotions kicked in....God Bless him.

  • Junaid on January 5, 2016, 12:34 GMT

    I was also young & 15 when I watched Amir & Tim Southee in my first ever Cricket match in NewZealand & that age is so innocent that at that time I thought Amir & Southee r brothers because their faces looked very similar to me ..haha..

    I can't even Imagine myself at place of Amir at that age & Jail & Hatred & I don't know what else He has faced ! so I Think Amir deserves a chance..But in future ICC should announce a life ban, that no young kid can even think of doing that.

  • Saq on January 5, 2016, 12:19 GMT

    @nuraiz: If PK's bowlers had to come up with "super-human performances to compensate for mediocre batting", I'd like to know what BD has done to compensate for mediocre batting and bowling? Have they excelled in other facets of the game to compensate? Don't mention what they've done in the last 12 months.

  • Nabeel on January 5, 2016, 8:05 GMT

    best of luck work hard and you'll get the fruits you deserve

  • greig on January 5, 2016, 6:16 GMT

    Good to have him back. It makes cricket more exciting to watch, to see these guys who have the skills to bowl with pace and swing.

  • RAGHU on January 5, 2016, 6:09 GMT

    One crime can be punished only once. That's over now. After all he was a minor then. Let him play. Hopefully he will never repeat the mistake . All the best in his career.

  • Naveed on January 5, 2016, 6:02 GMT

    I would suggest Amir to go out and with team consent bowl the first ball as NO BALL. This is take the pressure off him and off the team for any inadvertent no ball he might bowl in future

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