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The return of Mohammad Amir: All you need to know about left-arm pacer

In 2010, the world came crashing on the then 18-year-old Amir when he along with then Pakistan captain Salman Butt and senior pacer Mohammad Asif were caught in the web of match-fixing

Mohammad Amir returns to Pakistan cricket team for New Zealand series

Mohammad Amir returns to Pakistan cricket team for New Zealand series

Abhishek Singh New Delhi

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Mohammad Amir, once regarded as the next Wasim Akram of Pakistan cricket, will be making his third debut of a sort for Pakistan as he was named in the team's squad for the upcoming five-match series against New Zealand on Tuesday, April 9.

Amir will be playing again for Pakistan after a gap of three years and eight months if he makes the playing 11 against the Blackcaps on April 18 in the first match of the five-match bilateral series.

Amir's Sensational Debut for Pakistan

Making his debut for Pakistan at the tender age of 17 years against England in 2009 ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup that year, Amir had a sensational debut as Pakistan won the World Cup and he took six wickets opening the bowling in nearly every game.

Amir: Pakistan's New Pace-Sensation

In his first year of international cricket itself, Amir became the third youngest pacer in the history of Test cricket to claim a five-wicket haul. He was brilliant in the 2010 T20 World Cup as well, taking four wickets in the 20th over in the semi-final against Australia, in a match where every Pakistan bowler was thrashed by Michael Hussey.

When Was Mohammad Amir Caught in Match-Fixing Allegations?

However, the world came crashing down on the then 18-year-old Amir when he, along with then Pakistan captain Salman Butt and senior pacer Mohammad Asif, were caught in the web of match-fixing and banned from playing any kind of competitive cricket.

Five Year Ban for Amir from Cricket

A young Amir was seen pleading not guilty on almost every TV channel. Considering his young and impressionable age and long career ahead of him, the ban was reduced to five years.

Before being banned, Amir had 51 Test wickets in 14 matches, 25 wickets in 15 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), and 23 wickets in 18 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). At just 18 years of age, the pacer was touching the 140s regularly and had claimed 99 wickets in a year of cricket.

Quitting Pakistan Cricket to Become UK Citizen and Play IPL

Amir made his comeback from fixing and was the only one of the three Pakistan cricketers to be able to do that when he played his first match in all three formats in 2016, nearly six years after being banned. However, the charm was lost in Tests as he decided to quit after the 2019 ODI World Cup.

Amir was sensational with the white-ball winning Pakistan the Champions Trophy against arch-rivals India in a brilliant spell. Since his comeback to international cricket, Amir played 22 Tests, 46 ODIs, and 32 T20Is to take 68, 56, and 36 wickets in the three formats respectively.

However, after returning from Test cricket in 2019, Amir in November 2020, alleged that he was met with differential treatment by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as well as the national cricket team and vowed that he would not play for the country again till the current dispensation remained in power.

It was rumoured that since his wife is a citizen of the United Kingdom, Amir too was trying to obtain a British passport and play in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) like another Pakistan pacer Azhar Mahmood did when he featured for Kings XI Punjab.

How Amir Could Be Big Boost for Pakistan in T20 World Cup 2024?

Amir, who has always had the deadly weapon of yorkers and bouncers to go along with the vicious in-swing to right-handed batters, is the complete package that any team looks for. Now that he has made himself available for selection, Pakistan would surely benefit from his vast experience of playing in T20 leagues around the world.

Amir has 325 wickets in 277 games including seven four-wicket hauls at an economy rate of 7.18, which is considered excellent. Even in the recent Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2024, Amir picked up 10 wickets in nine games for the Quetta Gladiators.

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First Published: Apr 09 2024 | 5:40 PM IST

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