Mohammad Amir wants life ban for fixers, promises different Amir on real comeback
Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir admitted that he is “terribly lucky” to be given a chance to play Tests again but is convinced that fixers should be “banned for life” and promised a different person on his return to England, reports ESPN Cricinfo.
Amir, who returned to international cricket earlier this year following his five-year suspension from the ICC, will be resuming his Test career against England next month at Lord’s, where the fixing scandal transpired in 2010. The left-arm fast bowler also admitted that he never thought about his comeback.
"To be honest I never thought about my comeback and I feel terribly lucky to be back to play Test cricket again," Amir said. "I was all excited for Test cricket because that is where my career was held back and I still can't believe that this is happening.
“You call it a coincidence or whatever, but to me it is a blessing that I am starting right from where I stopped in 2010. That tour was marred by the controversy and that left me with unfinished business. My only aim is to be the best bowler of the series, get Pakistan to win the series, and sign off with fresh memories.”
Speaking about fixing, Amir said: “This fixing in cricket should not be allowed and anyone caught should be banned for life. If anyone still hasn't learn a lesson from our cases, then he will be the biggest fool. Whatever happened with us and the way our careers went down, I think this is the biggest example for everyone.
“Imagine what we could have achieved in those lost years. I had missed five of the best years of my life and if I was still playing, everyone would know where I would have been standing right now.
Only players can stop fixing, no one else says Amir
The 24-year-old also went on add that no one apart from the player can really stop fixing from happening.
“If this [corruption] is still happening it is really alarming and there is a serious problem in the dignity of the player. I think the player must alone be blamed and nobody can help this. Neither the home board, nor the ICC nor the parents can help if the player doesn't want to be honest. I think players themselves have to be honest. I fully back what [Alastair] Cook has said the other day, that fixers should be banned for life.”
Although there have been reservations earlier, including when he was taunted on his international return, Amir is taking everything in his stride.
“I always believe that as a professional you have to be ready for any kind of situation," he said. "The crowd sometimes gets nasty but you are a professional only if you handle all kinds of situations wisely. In the ground the crowd shouts everywhere and wherever you go, but as a professional it’s my duty to focus on the game and if you are not doing it, you are not into cricket.
“So naturally when I am on the ground, my utmost focus is on cricket and this is what I will be doing in England as well. Sledging is a part of game and it isn't new in cricket and I have this in my mind. But I don't want to lose my focus; I would rather think about my performance. With a positive frame of mind, such negative things will be irrelevant."
Test cricket is the actual cricket: Amir
Amir, who has been in stunning form since his return to cricket, admitted that he is looking forward to his test return more than anything else.
"I might have registered my comeback months ago, but Test cricket is the actual cricket, and playing it again is what I was looking forward to, and this is my real comeback," the 24-year-old said. "I won't say that I have forgotten my past, as my memory still holds those ugly moments from 2010, but I want to perform well. I want to get my name at the honours board at Lord's once again to win back the love and support in England. I am looking at this tour positively as I want to supersede my past with a better future.”
“As a bowler I always try to be different every day and want to come hard to take a step towards improvement," he said. “You will see a different Amir this time in England as a bowler, as a person with new refreshing thoughts.
“See I have gone through a lot of tough times, which actually taught me a lot of good lessons, and now I am much stronger than before. With every passing day I am getting mature, and maturity comes with time and experience. I got enough in my life to stand strong and look for a positive future ahead.”