Pakistani bowling coach Waqar Younis believes the return of Mohammad Amir to the squad will boost competition among bowlers and heighten intensity as they prepare for next month’s T20 series against England. He said Amir’s retirement from Test cricket “hurt back then,” but that Pakistan had passed him, and said his recall did not mean the left-wing shipowner was indispensable for the team, insisting that no Pakistani player could claim this status.
In a media interaction, Younis was asked intensely about Amir’s inclusion just weeks after Melon banned from the tour due to the imminent birth of her second child. Pakistan had already made arrangements to replace them when Amir apologized earlier; Nonetheless, after the birth of his daughter last week, head selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq approached Amir for his availability and – if he returns two negative tests for Covid-19 – is expected to connect with the team later this week.
“We have a lot of bowlers here, and we don’t need them all,” Younis admitted, “but since it’s a camp and we have a lot of time, you better see what everyone can do is not only about this series but also about the future. The idea is to have a better idea of our players and a clear picture of who we would like to take. Amir is an experienced fast bowler and was part of our plans white ball, and we’re just using the chance to have as many bowlers ready as possible.
“The doors are never closed to anyone, even if he played for Pakistan or [are] yet to play. He [Amir] is a seasoned bowler, and he did hurt at times when he left Test cricket at a crucial time, and we have all expressed our displeasure about that. But we have evolved, and we need to see where it is. If he’s up to it, we’ll pick him up and play him. But no one is essential. I never thought we couldn’t function without a cricketer. This is the wrong way to think.”
Since Amir left Tests at the age of 27, Pakistan has brought in many young fast bowlers, including Shaheen Afridi, who has become a mainstay of the side and Naseem Shah. In contrast, Mohammad Abbas has become a key option for seniors. Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Khan Shinwari, Musa Khan and Imran Khan have all played a role, especially since Wahab Riaz joined the retired Amir on the red ball last year.
Younis said the decision to include Amir was not made on impulse and would not hurt any of the young players on the squad. “In a way, it’s really good that he’s come and that young players can really learn from him,” he said. “But we’ll prioritize those who are doing well, and they will definitely go. With 29 players here, there is good, healthy competition, and that is a great luxury.
“There should be competition; it really helps the team. If you go back to the 90s, Wasim [Akram], me, Shoaib [Akhtar], and many others around [were] pushing hard for international selection, and that’s where teams really thrive.”
Pakistani players and support staff arrived in England on June 28, several weeks before the start of the first match to be able to train in the country, as well as complete the mandatory quarantine period for all foreigners traveling to the UK. United.
The tour group lives in a biosecurity bubble where they will not interact with anyone outside of the group, and regular testing for Covid-19 will be carried out during the tour. The three tests and the three T20I will all be played behind closed doors.