Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said on Friday disgraced Muhammad Amir can inspire the country to a World Twenty20 win against India in March next year.
“Pakistan are the most dangerous side if they play three spinners and two fast bowlers and get Amir back in the side,” the 40-year-old said in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
“What more important thing is there than for Pakistan to win the World Cup? I’m sure Amir can run in and win the World Cup,” he added.
Amir, who completed his five-year ban in September this year, has been in red hot form ever since his return to the domestic circuit, and has already picked up nine wickets in six matches in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
After Misbah, Amir rattles Afridi's stumps in BPL
Former greats like Rameez Raja, Sikandar Bakht, Javed Miandad and Inzamam raised their voice against the inclusion of the tainted player in the Pakistan team. However, Akhtar implored people to “help the child” following Amir’s controversial return to cricket.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Pakistan coach Waqar Younis have both suggested Amir is likely to receive an international recall and former fast bowler Shoaib believes this would be a rewarding decision.
“I can understand people who do not want him to play and say once he destroyed the country’s name, that he should not get a chance. I think they are right but at the same time, there are other people who say he’s served his sentence, he’s served his time in the jail and if he does that again, then hang him. I agree,” the bowling legend said.
“There’s going to be a lot of mistrust, Every time he’s going to run in there, there will be a billion eyes judging him. It’s not going to be easy for him,” he added.
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Further, Akhtar said if he was in Amir’s place he would be ‘scared.’ “If I was in his place, and God forbid I shouldn’t be, I would have been so scared.”
“But let’s help the child and let’s guide him once again and tell him what the right thing is to do,” he urged.
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram, Imran Khan along with Shoaib Akhtar believe otherwise, and have urged players to forgive the tainted trio who have already served their punishment. However, Mohammad Hafeez has said he would feel uncomfortable sharing a dressing room with Amir.
However, Akhtar said it is essential that the PCB “gets the trust of the whole team” regarding Amir’s possible inclusion in the team.
This article originally appeared on Gulf News.
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