DHAKA - Cricketer-convert-commentator Ramiz Raja believes left-arm pacer Muhammad Amir has surprised everyone with his performances, including him, who was against the 23-year-old’s return to international cricket.

“I never thought Amir would be able to make such a glorious comeback. I am really surprised,” said Ramiz. “I believe there was a lot of pressure on him to prove himself on and off the field. Bowling to international batsmen wasn’t a piece of cake either. Over the last five years, batting in ODI and T20 cricket has changed a lot. There have been so many improvisations. But Amir has always been a smart bowler to deal with all the odds. So far his performance has been amazing.”

After praising Amir, who delivered a top-notch four-over spell against India in the 2016 Asia Cup match against India, Ramiz reiterated his previous stance that banned cricketers should not be allowed to resume cricket. “My position is still unchanged; I never liked the idea of bringing these cricketers back,” said Ramiz. “This is not best for cricket. I am saying this because I have witnessed a dark period of cricket in Pakistan. I don’t want such incidents to happen again. But since Amir has already come back, better let’s discuss about his current performance rather than what he has done in the past.”

The 53-year-old added that if he had the authority, he would never allow anyone to pollute the game of cricket with corruption. “I don’t have the power in my hands. Had I had that, I would have made sure there remained not a single to pollute the purity of cricket anymore,” said Ramiz.

“There have been many in Pakistan in recent times. But they are always given the benefit of doubt. Like you see, Amir once did an unforgivable crime and here he is again playing for Pakistan.”

He concluded: “If such phenomenon continues to build up, the day is not far away when people will stop believing in the players.”