KARACHI - Pakistani pacer M Aamir's 23rd birthday celebrations were marred by a hamstring injury Monday as the former prodigy downplayed hopes of a speedy international recall. Currently turning out for Omar Associates in Pakistan's Grade-II tournament, Aamir, who has bagged an impressive 22 wickets in four matches, was forced to sit out of the final against Karachi Port Trust at the National Sports Stadium.  Aamir said he was focusing on steady progress after four-and-a-half-years away from the game. "To be honest I don't want to talk of international cricket ahead of time. My ban will expire on September 2 this year so at the moment my focus is on gradual progress," he told AFP.

"Four-and-a-half year is not trivial for a professional player but I was strong and survived and now I am playing and using the best facilities for which I am thankful to the ICC (International Cricket Council) and Pakistan Cricket Board." Aamir said he will feature in the national Super Eight Twenty20 tournament expected to be held next month. "I will play whatever events are available so that I progress steadily," said Aamir. "My competition is only with myself," he insisted, adding: "I don't set my goals with others in mind, if I achieve my goals then there will be no competition."