Pakistan fast-bowler Mohammad Amir has admitted that he is very lucky to be representing his country again. The 24-year-old was suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for five years for bowling deliberate no-balls during Pakistan's tour of England in 2010. He also served a six-month jail sentence in England during his suspension before being released for good behaviour.
The other two players involved in the spot-fixing case, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, are yet to return to international cricket despite their five-year bans being lifted last year. It is only Amir who was called back to the team and ironically he is set to resume his Test career next month against England at Lords, the same place where the scandal took place.
"To be honest I never thought about my comeback and I feel terribly lucky to be back to play Test cricket again," Amir said, as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
"I was all excited for Test cricket because that is where my career was held back and I still can't believe this is happening. You call it a coincidence or whatever, but to me it is a blessing that I am starting right from where I stopped in 2010.
"That tour was marred by the controversy and that left me with unfinished business. My only aim is to be the best bowler of the series, get Pakistan to win the series, and sign off with fresh memories."
Amir, who was only 18 then, was the youngest player to find his name on the honours board after he claimed 6 for 84 against England at Lords in 2010. He was Pakistan's leading wicket-taker in the four Test series and also their player of the series.
Since his re-integration to the side, Amir has shown glimpses of his talent, taking five wickets in two One Day Internationals and 11 wickets in 11 Twenty20 Internationals. The pacer will be next seen in action when Pakistan take on England in the first test that is scheduled to start on 14 July at Lords.