KARACHI: Missing the 2011 World Cup semi-final against India in Mohali was the lowest point of Mohammad Amir’s career, according to the banned fast-bowler who made his first national television appearance on Tuesday night since his return to Pakistan.
Amir was an integral part of the 2009 World Twenty20 winning squad and also in the side that made it to the Champions Trophy semi-finals later that year. But the tour of England – where Pakistan beat Australia in the Twenty20 series before drawing the two-match Test series – was to be his last appearance as the spot-fixing scandal was unearthed. However, despite the trials, the ban from cricket and the prison term, Amir still rued missing the high-profile Mohali encounter the most.
“I was so heartbroken that I couldn’t even watch that match,” said Amir. “I could tell from my family members’ faces that they would’ve loved to see me on tv then. I just got up and left. Missing that match was my biggest loss.”
Amir, however, remains optimistic about returning to cricket after his five-year ban ends in 2015.
“I’ve learnt from my mistakes. I cannot explain the pain I go through each day. It hurts to see the team play and then realise I can’t be part of that. I messed it all up because of one mistake. But I apologise for that and promise that if I’m given another chance, I will put in all my effort with sincerity and honesty.”
The fast-bowler added that prior to the spot-fixing episode in England, he was never involved in any sort of wrongdoing at any level in the sport.
“I played with honesty before I was forced into the trap. What’s happened has happened. I don’t want to get into the blame game again and just want to look ahead to the future.”
‘Friends’ never came to help me: Amir
Meanwhile, Amir said that the whole fixing fiasco and the subsequent jail term forced many of his ‘friends’ away from him.
“I got moral support from the ones I never expected but the ones who I considered my close friends turned away. Shahid Afridi motivated me during the tough days and I am very thankful to him. Kamran Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad have also been a great help as well as Shoaib Akhtar.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2012.