FULL NAME: Mohammad Amir
BORN: April, 13, 1992, GUJJAR KHAN, PUNJAB
CURRENT AGE : 28 years
ROLE: Bowler/Left-arm Fast, Right-Handed Batsman
Mohammad Amir, a left-arm pace bowler, reveres Wasim Akram. Over 2007 and 2008, he also emerged, still improbably young, as a hot pace prospect. Even before he went to England on an U-19 tour, he had been picked out as a special talent by Akram himself at a pace camp he oversaw in Lahore in May 2007. By 2010, he had become the hottest pace bowling prospect around the world – but within months his career was in ruins following charges of spot-fixing.
He began in 2009 with an impressive showing on the domestic circuit, impressing with his whippy pace and swing. He took 55 wickets for National Bank of Pakistan in his debut season, and earned selection to the Pakistan World T20 squad. There he hit the big time, taking over from an out-of-sorts Sohail Tanvir and bowling with pace, accuracy and courage.
He hovered in the high 80mphs, touching even 90 on occasion and was a crucial opening link in Pakistan’s title run. He bowled several nerveless final overs and one absolutely crucial opening over, in the final, when he dismissed tournament top-scorer Tillakaratne Dilshan for a five-ball duck, peppering him with quick, short balls. He carried his form over to the ODI version, picking up match-winning figures of 4 for 28 against Sri Lanka in August before turning in consistent spells in the Champions Trophy.
He picked six wickets on Test debut in Sri Lanka. Thereafter, over tours to New Zealand, Australia and England, he matured remarkably, building up his pace and both new-ball and reverse swing. The 2010 tour of England saw the best of him and he became the youngest bowler, at 18, to take 50 Test wickets. But his world crashed around him when he was implicated in a spot-fixing scam in which it was alleged that he had bowled deliberate, pre-planned no-balls in a Test. In February 2011 he was handed a five-year ban following investigations by an ICC tribunal. He pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to six months in prison at Southwark Crown Court.
After his release, Amir frequently expressed his contrition over the incident and co-operated with the ICC in spreading its anti-corruption message. Having been cleared to return to all forms of cricket in September 2015, he made his international comeback the following January, as part of Pakistan’s limited-overs squad to New Zealand. On his next international assignment, the 20-over Asia Cup in Dhaka, he made waves once again, rattling India’s top order with three wickets in a hostile spell of pace bowling. Amir’s reintegration came full circle when he was selected in the Test squad for England later that year, setting up a comeback Test at Lord’s, the venue where the spot-fixing scandal had derailed his career six years before.
However, it is in Test cricket, the format supposedly perfectly designed for him to express his wizardry, that he has disappointed most profoundly. Magical spells with the new ball have been all too fleeting, and his performances in the three countries where conditions are arguably best suited to him, have been largely indifferent. With the ball, he averaged 42.41 in England in 2016, 28.83 in New Zealand that same year, and 61.60 when Australia whitewashed Pakistan at the turn of the year. The prodigious banana swing from that titillating left-arm angle – and that quite beautiful bowling action – does come, but not nearly as potently or regularly as memory suggests it did in his teenage years. In other words, Amir, in Test cricket, has flattered to deceive.
It depends on what he wants to be remembered for, though, because if he wishes to live for famous moments rather than a stellar career, he’s got the biggest one tucked up already. In the Champions Trophy final against India, it was his opening salvo that put the game out of India’s reach. Defending 338, he trapped Rohit Sharma in front in the first over, before taking Virat Kohli’s outside edge twice in two balls – the first was dropped in the slips. Shikhar Dhawan fell at Amir’s hands too, with the fast bowler’s figures reading 6-2-16-3, as Pakistan stormed to victory by 180 runs.
Amir joined Bajwa sports academy set up by former Pakistani player Asif Bajwa in 2003 when he was just 11 years old.
He was first recognised and selected by former legendary fast bowler Wasim Akram during a fast bowling camp in 2007.
Later, he got an opportunity to represent Pakistan U-19 cricket team on a tour to England. Amir grabbed it with both hands, claiming 8 wickets at an average of 16.37. In 2008, Pakistan U-19 team played a tri-nation tournament in Sri Lanka and Amir glistened once again with his swing and bounce, taking 9 wickets at 11.22 in three games.
In March 2008, he played his first domestic game for the Rawalpindi Rams and at the same time, he was playing for National Bank of Pakistan as well.
In his debut domestic season, he emerged as a flamboyant performer by taking 55 wickets fo
Amir made his debut in 2009 ICC World Twenty20 against England on 7 June, when he was just 17 years old.
He took his first international wicket on his very second ball and conceded only 1 run in his first over. However, he gave 30 runs in his next two, finishing with an economy of 10.33.
Amir impressed with his performance in every game of the tournament, taking a wicket in his opening spell in 6 of 7 games.
rise to glory
Amir had risen to prominence in his early career. After his successful World Twenty20 tournament, he made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka on 30 July 2009, taking 3 wickets and also scoring 23 runs. In an ODI game against New Zealand, he scored 73*, batting at number 10 which was a world record that time.
In his first Test against Sri Lanka, he took 6 wickets and later against Australia, he led his team to the victory, which was Pakistan’s sole Test victory against the men from Down Under in 15 years.
He took 7 wickets in the match and awarded Man of the match.
In 2010, Pakistan travelled to England for a Test series. Though Pakistan lost the series 3-1, Amir emerged as a star performer, taking 19 wickets and scoring 67 runs.
He played his first major tournament as 2017 ICC Champions Trophy after returning from ban.
Playing in the final, he took wicket of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli in quick succession. It was his dream spell which won the trophy for his team.
Amir was an exceptional player but was naive and still juvenile. Being from a poor background, he couldn’t keep himself away from greed of money. In a Test match against England, he deliberately delivered two no balls owing to a deal with the fixers.
On 29 August 2010, he was arrested for spot-fixing and was sentenced to a five-year ban.
On 29 January 2015, ICC gave him permission to play domestic cricket before the official expiration of the ban.
As a result, Chittagong Vikings signed him for 2015 Bangladesh Premier League.
He was also acquired by Karachi Kings in Pakistan Super League and took a hat-trick in 2016.
Amir also represented Essex in the 2017 English county season.
amir’s record in numbers
Amir has played 36 Tests and 61 ODIs in his career till date. In Tests, he has 119 wickets at an average of 30.48 and in ODIs, he got 81 wickets in his name at the average of 29.63.
He has also played 50 T20Is for Pakistan and claimed 59 scalps.