Alastair Cook says Mohammad Amir tarnished cricket but is an exceptional talent
England take on Pakistan on July 14 at the Lord's.
Alastair Cook, captain of England has been very direct in his comments about Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir, who was involved in a spot-fixing, which led him to be banned for five years. He deliberately bowled two no-balls and he pleaded guilty on the verdict that was passed by the International Cricket Council.
The Englishman also claimed that the Pakistani left-arm fast bowler could have been banned for life and not five years, if he would have had his way. He also suggested that the bowler should be ready to face a hostile response from the crowds during the matches.
Cook said: “There is one thing that is not in doubt when you discuss Amir – he can bowl.” He added: “He is going to be a real challenge for us as a batting unit.” He further added: “Take away all the off-field stuff he will be a real challenge. The fact is you don’t see many 18-year-olds bowl like he did. He’s an exceptional talent.”
What’s ironical is that the last time Amir was at the same ground, the Pakistani had an incredible spell of 6-84 and he was also on the honours board at the Lord’s. He last played here in 2010, six long years ago.
The Englishman said: “He was given a punishment at that time and he’s had to live with the consequences of what he’s done. He tarnished cricket. I’m not saying anything that is out of order at all.” He added: “He has served his punishment and he comes back a fine bowler. I will say that it’s going to be a great challenge for us as a side facing him.”
Although Cook’s comments may not have gone too well with the Pakistan faithful, he maintains that the English-Pakistan relationship remains warm, which he hopes will continue even after the summer.
The batsman said: “The England-Pakistan relationship, there’s been some controversial moments in Test series over the past 20 years. But actually the last series we played in the UAE both sides were spot on the way we played our cricket”
He added: “The spirit between both sides and respect towards each other was at the right level. Even with a bit more external stuff here about Mohammad coming back, hopefully we can continue that relationship. It’s good for the game.”
Cook became the first English batsman to cross the 10000-run barrier in test cricket, a feat which he achieved this year. The also said that the test matches that they are going to host will be an evenly contested affair. He also said that sometimes Pakistan’s off-field matters overshadow just how good the team is.