Mohammad Amir has finally faced the English press for the first time after returning from his ban, which occurred during the England-Pakistan series in 2010.
Pakistan and Amir, both, had been trying to move on from the past, which is one of the main reasons why Pakistan camp did not put Amir’s face on the screen for so long. However, now, the timing seemed right and Amir has handled things rather well.
The left-arm pacer was given insurance that the questions would entirely revolve around the on-going series and not about Amir’s past, to which he responded with ‘very good’.
Speaking about the 2nd Test match against England, which is to be played today, Amir said:
They are a very good side, they’ll come hard at us, but we’re also working hard.
During the interview, Amir was asked specifically about what change he has felt since his return. Amir spoke at length about it and responded:
I have felt the length – if you look at my past games, the length was a little short. I’ve worked with Azhar [Mahmood, bowling coach] bhai in the nets to push my lengths especially for Tests further up.
When the ball swings you get wickets from a fuller length. So I was trying in the last two games to push the ball further and you can see the difference.
Amir was heavily criticized for not bowling within the stumps but Wasim Akram defended him and claimed that it is very difficult to get the length if you have not played for a long while. He also added that bowling fuller deliveries is often more difficult than bowling bouncers.
As I said I was working with Azhar bhai about how to set my lengths. It doesn’t happen in one or two days. It doesn’t mean that if I’ve done well in two matches that has now been sorted. I’m still learning about how well I can do by pushing the ball up.
Although no interviewer brought up Amir’s past but he felt the need to address the elephant in the room. Amir carefully chose his words and said:
That is eight years ago. My personality is that things that have happened in the past, they’ve happened. It’s over. This is a new day, a new game.
Eight years ago, cricket was completely different. It’s a different team, a different system. The Lord’s victory is a motivation for us, it does give us confidence, but we want to do better than that. We can’t relax. We want to enjoy that but the attitude and confidence and discipline, it has to be double that of the last game.
Amir went through a rough patch during the last year or so. He has already taken 10 wickets in the past two matches, which might not be much but it’s just four less than his total wicket tally for 2017.
It is heartwarming to see how far Amir has come after what he has been through. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone deserves second chances and seems like Amir is not going to mess his second chance up.