Pakistan left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz on Monday said he and his teammates treat Mohammad Amir 'like a little brother' in a bid to relieve the pressure of his return to Test cricket at Lord’s next month.
Speaking at a Chance to Shine event in London, the 30-year-old bowler said he believes that Pakistan will be united and relaxed to cope with extra pressures during the England tour. “You can see the laugh on my face,” he said. “It is going to be the same, and nothing will be different. If you play cricket and enjoy your game, you will be able to perform. On the other hand, if you take stress or are worried about other things, then you wouldn’t be able to perform.”
However, Pakistan’s first and Amir’s comeback Test is set to take place at Lord’s, the very same venue where he, along with his co-conspirators, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, were implicated in a spot-fixing scandal.
It is unknown as to how the crowd will react to the 24-year-old’s comeback, but Wahab maintained that his side will grin and bear whatever response they receive.
“Obviously you cannot say anything to the crowd, however, what we can do is to go into the ground with a smile on our faces,” he said. “We know what our goal is and we know how to achieve our goal. We have to enjoy our cricket, we have to laugh all the time, if anyone says anything, a smile can do everything for them.”
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Wahab, who is set to share bowling duties with Amir, said he knows how important it will be to rally around his fellow teammate who has struggled to reach where he is today.
“He [Amir] has struggled a lot and has learned a lot of things in the past five years,” he said. “As a team, all of us are going to support him and we are behind him whenever he needs us.”
The 30-year-old further said that the squad is like a family and they will always support their young ones.
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“He [Amir] will not be left alone, he is a part of our family,” he said. “He is the youngest part of our family, so he’s like a kid to us, he’s like a brother to us, and a son to most of our senior players. We are always here for him, we are going to support him because we know what kind of capability he has in his bowling and how he can perform.”
Since his ban was lifted at the end of last year, Amir has picked up 16 wickets in 13 ODI and T20I appearances, including a stunning three-wicket burst against India in the group stages of the Asia Cup.
Pakistan will play the first Test of the England series on July 14 at Lord’s.
Wahab Riaz was quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
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