Pakistan’s Aamer fired up after ‘tough’ fix ban
Pakistan’s Mohammad Aamer admits he almost gave up cricket after being hit with a five-year ban for spot-fixing, but the paceman is now fired up to take wickets and repair his reputation.
The left-arm quick, along with new-ball partner Mohammad Asif and then-captain Salman Butt, was banned for delivering pre-arranged no-balls in return for money during the Lord’s Test against England in 2010.
The International Cricket Council relaxed his penalty in January after the Pakistan Cricket Board requested he be allowed to play domestic cricket before the ban officially expires in September.
“I must admit I have been given a new life,” Aamer said on the Cricket Australia website Wednesday. “I will try my best to avail this opportunity. I am ready to put in the hard yards to serve Pakistan.”
Since the ban was relaxed Aamer has been playing in the Patron’s Trophy in Pakistan, which is one level below first-class, and has been taking wickets. His manager Syed Noman Nazir told the website teams were trying to lure him to play in Australia’s Big Bash League, but Aamer’s “preference will be to feature in Pakistan’s first-class tournament starting this September”.
Aamer said he is aiming for a gradual return to international cricket, but only after regaining his full rhythm.
There have been suggestions he is focusing on a place in the Pakistan Test side for a potential series to be played against India in the UAE in December. “I am extremely pleased to see the crowd and fans supporting me after the comeback. It really is <g data-gr-id="32">huge</g> force of motivation for me,” he said. “They have <g data-gr-id="30">lot</g> of expectations from me. Now it is my responsibility to not let them down.” During his long hiatus, Aamer admitted that he thought about giving up <g data-gr-id="29">cricket</g> but his coach Asif Bajwa convinced him to stay focused on the game.