Crescent Kashmir

Mohammad Amir makes surprise return to NHPC

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LAHORE: Pakistan discard Mohammad Amir made a surprise return to the National High Per­formance Centre here on Friday, fueling speculations of his potential comeback to the national side.

Amir’s appearance at the facility was the first after he fell apart with the Pakistan Cricket Board’s administration under former chairman Ehsan Mani.

He had also failed to get along with Ehsan’s successor Ramiz Raja — who was removed from office last week along with his Board of Governors for an interim Manage­ment Committee, lead by Najam Sethi, to take over the board’s affairs in line with instructions from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Amir said he was allowed to practice at the NHPC after he successfully sought permission from Sethi and admitted he was eyeing a return to international cricket.

The pacer, who was tainted in a spot-fixing saga that struck Pakistan during their tour of England in 2010, said he was currently focused on preparing for the upcoming Bangladesh Premier League.

Following the spot-fixing controversy, Amir was banned for five years before he returned to the national side for another tour to England in 2016. He was also one of the key players behind Pakistan’s triumph in the ICC Champions Trophy a year later.

The left-armer, however, fell out of favour after Mani assumed charge as the PCB chairman in 2018 as the board took a stubborn stance against allowing tainted players to play for Pakistan.

During the time, Amir also announced retirement from Test cricket, lessening his chances to be picked for Pakistan.

Since then, Amir had been critical of the board’s policies. The 30-year-old, however, expressed happiness after Sethi took over the Ramiz-led PCB. “..right man for the right job congratulations to @najamsethi sir,” he had tweeted.

Published in Dawn, December 31st, 2022


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