Pakistan return to England
Mohammed Amir set for England tour, six years on from spot-fixing scandal
In 2010, the cricketing world was rocked by a spot-fixing scandal that resulted in three Pakistan internationals being suspended after a Test match at Lords.
Next month, disgraced cricketer, Mohammed Amir, returns to England for the first time since his five-year ban from the sport, as he looks to continue rebuilding his international career.
Amir, now 24, was the youngest of the three players – alongside former team mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif – to be suspended and jailed after a series of deliberate ‘no balls’ were bowled in a Test match.
Pakistan coach, Mickey Arthur, insists that the left-arm paceman has all the potential to return to the top of the game.
“He served his time, he's done it,” Arthur, who coached Amir during his reign at Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), said in his first news conference.
“I had Amir in the PSL, he was a fantastic professional. Other stuff is not relevant to me.
“The stuff that's relevant to me is making Mohammad Amir the best he can possibly be as a cricketer.”
Amir’s return was initially resented by some teammates and fans yet the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have stood by the talented bowler since his re-introduction to the national setup.
“People can say what they like, it's got nothing to do with me,” Arthur added.
“If Mohammad Amir is picked in the Pakistan cricket team, which he has been for the England tour, it's my role as head coach to make him the best possible player that he can possibly be.”
England will face Pakistan for the first time at Lords Cricket Ground on Thursday 14th July, before heading north to Manchester’s Emirates Old Trafford on Friday 22nd July.
Tests at Edgbaston and The Oval follow in August before a one day and Twenty20 series later this year.
The teams last played each other in the UAE in October and November last year, with Pakistan prevailing in the three-match series on that occasion with a 2-0 victory.
Pakistan batsman, Younis Khan, is confident his side can put on a repeat performance in England next month, and is looking forward to a return to the UK.
“It is always a pleasure whenever you play in Lord's,” Khan said. “The tradition and using that dressing room and that ground... in my mind it's always a challenge and a pleasure for me so playing cricket in England is all about that.
“If you go there and play according to your plans you'll be successful in any conditions and against any bowler.”