Focus on Amir as Pakistan return to Lord’s

Cricket, England, Pakistan

Misbah & Co Want To Put Fixing Scandal To Rest As The Action Finally Begins…

Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir will hope to put the 2010 spot-fixing scandal behind him once and for all when he returns to the scene of the crime in Thursday’s first Test against England at Lord’s. Six years ago, during a Lord’s Test against England, Amir and Pakistan new-ball partner Mohammad Asif deliberately bowled noballs on the instructions of captain Salman Butt as part of a sting operation carried out by a tabloid newspaper.All three received five-year bans from cricket and, together with sports agent Mazhar Majeed, jail terms.

Such was the impact of the controversy , the fact teenage sensation Amir took six for 84 in the first innings of that match has largely been forgotten.

For all his time out of cricket, the 24-year-old retains the ability to swing the ball late at sharp pace, as he showed with a first-innings haul of three for 36 in Pakistan’s tour opener against Somerset. It means an England side missing all-time leading injured wicket-taker James Anderson and sidelined all-rounder Ben Stokes, should not have things all their own way as they did in the preceding 2-0 home series win over Sri Lanka.

While the likes of former Pakistan batsman Ramiz Raja have expressed doubts about the wisdom of letting Amir back into international cricket, players on both sides have accepted the situation.

“We could talk or moan about it and have our opinions but the fact is it is not going to change him opening the bowling at us on Thursday or playing against us throughout this (four-match) series,“ said England batsman Joe Root.

Pacer Riaz insists no one `ruder’ than a Pakistani

Wahab Riaz has warned if any Wahab Riaz has warned if any England cricketer sledge or verbally abuse during the upcoming Test series may get more than they bargained for.

During Pakistan’s last tour, when the teams retur ned to Lord’s for a ODI, fast bowler Riaz and England batsman Jonathan Trott had to be separated in the nets after an angry exchange of words. Riaz, recalling the incident, told reporters at Lord’s on Tuesday .

“He was a bit rude and when it comes to being rude you can never beat the Pakistanis on it.We are the most rude when it comes to it. “We are nice but if somebody is rude we won’t spare it.“ The fast bowler added: “He was a bit rude, he was angry, he was not scoring runs, he was getting out early in the ODIs -he was doing well in the Tests. It was a frustration he tried to take out on me.“

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