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

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