DUBAI - Former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq has backed tainted pacer M Aamir’s return to international cricket and feels the youngster should get all the backing to help him forget the past and move forward.
“It is good that he is returning to international cricket. Majority of the people, including the ICC [International Cricket Council], former Pakistan stars like Imran Khan and Wasim Akram have lent their backing for Amir’s return,” Saqlain told Gulf News. “He [Amir] has made a mistake and has accepted it and has completed his punishment. I think it is time to forget and forgive and move on.”
Amir, who completed his five-year ban imposed by the ICC for his role in spot-fixing in 2010, has been named in Pakistan’s squad for New Zealand tour. After initial opposition, the pacer is now set to make his comeback in the limited overs series to begin on January 15. “It will be very difficult for him and we should all support him. You can’t take the past away, but we should all support him than aggravating his pain. We are all human beings and we make mistakes. My advise [to Amir] would be stay calm and enjoy .” Speaking on his favourite subject ‘doosra’, Saqlain , its inventor refused to agree with Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s observation that it is extremely difficult to bowl doosra without bending the arm.
“May be those who say ‘it is not possible to bowl with a straight arm’ don’t know it. With perfect practice and proper grip, one can bowl the delivery legally,” he clarified and even vouched to unleash a ‘teesra’ (the third one) when he turns up for Gemini Arabians in the Masters Champions League, set to begin on January 28.
Saqlain was also confident that Pakistan would bounce back from their recent slump. “We still have attacking bowlers like Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Amir is back now. Our batsmen’s mentality is to be aggressive and positive. Yes, there will be ups and downs, but I am confident of Pakistan coming back.” Saqlain , who has also been part of West Indies coaching team, felt that the sub-continent teams would do well in the World Twenty20 Cup to be held in India and picked the hosts and Sri Lanka as favourites.