The Pakistani cricket team has seen massive ups and downs but one of the biggest stories which involve both negative and positive peaks is the tale of the Pakistani pacer that is Muhammad Amir. The man whose tale is somewhat like a phoenix in the sense that he once was great, pummeled down into the darkness and then experienced a rebirth and the champions trophy final showed what he could achieve after the rebirth.
“I don’t think it would be a good idea to allow either Amir or the two other players involved in the spot-fixing scandal back into the Pakistan team.”
The young left armed pacer played his first international match in July of 2009 at the young and promising age of 17. his breakthrough led to praise by greats such as Rameez Raja and even the Sultan of swing Waseem Akram. Hailing from a country which in the past had produced destructive fastballers, the youngster quickly left a mark on fastballers territory making sure he never got forgotten. He produced 19 stunning overs maintaining an economy of 3.89 runs per over and produced 3 stunning wickets including the very first breakthrough for the Pakistani team.
“We will not take part in a camp which also includes Amir. We will not back down on our stance but are willing to discuss the matter with PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan.”
The peak of his fame was unfortunately not due to his performance on the pitch, statistics, his pace, ability to take wickets or his unplayable swing, rather he was soon forgotten as a great bowler and remembered as a cheat and a unhonorable sportsman, not even considered a sportsman at times. This happened in the summer of 2010 at the Lord’s stadium with Pakistan in complete control of the game. Amir had a great five-wicket haul to his name and then the unusual “No ball” happened. the extra given by Amir was so big that it stirred up suspicions. Finally, Mazhar Majeed’s story comes out and Amir admitted his fault only to be imprisoned for six months and banned from all forms of cricket for a long five years.
Soon after his ban was lifted, Amir was seen on the domestic field and got recognized for a brilliant Bangladesh premier league, in which he took 13 wickets in just 8 matches. This great form followed him back home to the Pakistan Super League in which he played for the Karachi Kings and managed 7 wickets in 7 matches whilst remaining one the most economical bowlers.
“I have a good team around me, a very supportive team who are looking after me in all aspects of my cricket and life. I’m indebted to them for their guidance and help.”
Amir had played One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals since his ban was lifted 2 years ago, but his return to Test cricket was at the same Lord’s ground where the doors of international cricket were shut on him in 2010. It was hoped that a much matured Amir would emerge, swiftly passing through the rehabilitation program, and he did by taking 3 wickets in the match against England at the Lord’s stadium, the same place that would’ve haunted anyone else after a scandal that big.
“To be honest I never thought about my comeback and I feel seriously lucky to play Test cricket again.”
Amir continued his brilliant form showing that he had not lost touch with his trade by playing more brilliant domestic and international cricket thereafter. In the matches against West Indies, which were crucial for either team to get into the ICC Champions Trophy, Amir provided Pakistan with 7 wickets in the very first match allowing Pakistan to glide towards victory. throughout the series, the left armed speedster gave 13 outstanding wickets, produced 11 maiden overs and maintained a great economy of only 1.76 runs per over.
And finally, his chance to prove himself on a world stage in England came with the start of the ICC Champions Trophy. with the very first match against arch-rivals India, Pakistan had to show the world that the new young side had what it takes to be on top. However, the first match ended up horribly wrong even though Amir produced great spells of overs for the team and what could have resulted in the collapse of yet another set of players, they got back up and destroyed the rest of the opposition.
“I still hold those moments (from 2010) in my memory but I want to get my name on the honor board at Lord’s once again.”
Amir even though missed one of his five matches managed to produce 5 wickets, maintained a great economy and finally getting to the final in which he victimized Indias top order batsmen taking the early wickets of Rohit Sharma and Indian skipper Virat Kohli, aiding his team towards a glorious finish as Champions. Now with an international cup in his hands, a gold medal around his chest and a white blazer to show the world that he came and conquered, Amir has redeemed himself.