Warning for English press: Play mind games but at your own risk: Aaqib

1996 World Cup winner says riled up Amir could be lethal in England.

Nabeel Hashmi July 10, 2016
Aaqib has high hopes for Pakistan’s bowling attack and tips them to wreak havoc in the upcoming four-match Test series against England. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Former Test cricketer Aaqib Javed feels the English media is only helping Pakistan’s cause by putting pressure on Mohammad Amir, which he believes will make the returning pacer more focused on his game and give an edge to Pakistan.

Despite his outstanding performance with the ball in the first side match against Somerset, the British press targeted Amir by mentioning his ‘spot-fixing’ infamy in headlines, something which did not go down well with some former England players as well.

Aaqib suspects the English media will play more mind games in the upcoming series against Pakistan, with Amir being their primary target.

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“The mind games have already started as they try to pressurise Pakistan and Amir, but let me tell you that this will only help our team,” Aaqib told The Express Tribune.

“When Amir would come to know that the media is against him, he would focus even more and block out all distractions. The only thing for him on the tour would be cricket and to win back fans with strong performances. This would only help Pakistan’s cause of doing well in England.”

Aaqib, who served the national team as a bowling coach and also worked with the UAE as their head coach, believes the presence of Amir and Yasir Shah makes Pakistan’s bowling attack world-class and in a league of their own.

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“When you have guys like Amir and Yasir in your line-up, it instantly becomes a world-class bowling attack. There aren’t many bowling attacks which are as good as Pakistan’s at the moment because in addition to the two aces, we’ve also got Rahat Ali and Sohail Khan who can move the ball at pace as well as the raw pace of Wahab Riaz,” stated Aaqib.

“Thus, I believe that Pakistan’s chances are really good in England and we would defend any score in excess of 250. If our batsmen put together 350 in first innings of any match, Pakistan would automatically be in a position of winning the Test. I’ve got this much belief in our bowlers.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2016.

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Kickass | 6 years ago | Reply English tabloids have this notorious past and it will continue. But I would expect the crowd to be careful as it will have a sizeable number of Pakistanis.
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