Millennium Post

Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali buries hatchet with Amir

The rehabilitation of Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Amir takes another step forward with one-day captain Azhar Ali welcoming him into the side for the series against New Zealand.

Ali, who takes over the captaincy from Shahid Afridi for the 50-over game, initially refused to play alongside Amir who is making his return to the international scene after a prison term and five-year ban for spot-fixing. But on the eve of the first ODI against New Zealand in Wellington, Ali said he had talked to Amir and aims to "get the best" out of the 23-year-old quick bowler if he starts.

"We have moved on. We are united and looking forward to the challenge," Ali said as the team practised in blustery conditions on Sunday.

Afridi had no problems having Amir in his side for the just completed Twenty20 series, won by New Zealand 2-1 with Amir bowling 11 overs and taking one for 100 over the three matches. Ali stayed away from the first two days of a training camp before the New Zealand tour saying he would not attend "as long as Amir is there".

Ali resumed the captaincy after Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan intervened and said he did not expect any problems.
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