Shahid Afridi backs Amir's inclusion in Pakistan squad
Pakistan T20I captain, Shahid Afridi gave his complete support to the decision of including tainted fast bowler, Mohammad Amir for Pakistan's limited-overs tour of New Zealand. Afridi took to social media platform, Twitter to express his happiness with Amir being given a second chance.
Amir was included in the squad by the selectors despite resistance from senior players like Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali. The 23-year-old bowler will be making a return to the national side after serving his five-year ban.
In a string of tweets, Afridi believed that Amir telling the truth warranted the bowler being given another chance to establish himself as Pakistan's bowling spearhead. The T20I captain also believed that everyone needs to move on and back the young bowler.
Afridi joins the few people who have been backing Amir, like Shoaib Malik and chief national selector Haroon Rashid. Amir's performances have only made the job easier for the selectors to make way for his comeback into the national squad.
Since September, when the International Cricket Council (ICC) allowed Amir to start playing domestic tournaments, Amir has been in immense form showing that he still has the talents he showcased when he made his beginning as a teenager. Most recently, Amir played in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) where he picked up 14 wickets in nine matches.
Having Amir back in the side will be a major boost to Pakistan's chances if he can replicate the form he showed in 2009 and 2010. He has picked up 99 international wickets in 47 matches at an impressive average of 25.66. Amir's last contribution was a 6/84 against England at the Lord's which was his best Test bowling performance in an innings.
However, it remains to be seen how the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will handle Amir's visa issues that might crop up before the time of travel to New Zealand. Pakistan will play three ODIs and three T20Is in New Zealand.
Here is the list of tweets that Afridi posted in support of Amir:
Happy to have Amir back in team. He told me truth first time I asked him in England. He admitted his mistake we should back him now3/4— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) January 1, 2016
Amir also always backed team and didn't lie like others did. He didn't go to TV shows and criticized team like the others did for no reason.— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) January 1, 2016
I respect Azhar and Hafeez'a stance. We suffered a lot due to spot fixing scandal and our image was tarnished everywhere.— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) January 1, 2016
Amir spoke the truth both to courts and the Pakistani public. Unlike the rest who kept lying for two-three years!— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) January 1, 2016
We now need to move on and I will back Amir and expect him to serve Pakistan cricket with total dedication and commitment— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) January 1, 2016