In an exclusive interview with PakPassion.net, Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir looked forward to representing Rawalpindi Rams at the Super 8 T20 Cup and his plans in anticipation of a return to international cricket.
By Saj Sadiq (9th May, 2015)
Pakistan’s most prestigious T20 tournament, the Super 8 T20 Cup is set to kick off in Faisalabad on 11th May. The tournament which will feature 8 regional teams, will showcase the talent of Pakistan’s best players in the T20 format. Whereas the teams will be fielding some tried and tested international names in their line-ups, there is little doubt that there is immense public interest in the return to domestic cricket of one of the most well-known fast bowlers in the shape of Mohammad Amir.
At twenty three years of age, Mohammad Amir has recently been allowed by the ICC to participate in domestic cricket in advance of the expiry of the five year ICC imposed ban which comes to an end in September 2015. His participation on behalf of the Rawalpindi Rams team in the upcoming Super 8 T20 Cup, thus, represents a significant milestone on the way to restoration of his status as an international player for Pakistan.
In an exclusive interview with PakPassion.net, Amir looked forward to representing Rawalpindi Rams at the Super 8 T20 Cup and his plans in anticipation of a return to international cricket.
The Pakistan fast bowler began with a vote of thanks for the support he has received by his supporters during some trying times in the past few years stating that “I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to all my fans and supporters for the manner in which they supported me through a difficult period of my life and I would like assure them that I will perform to my best abilities during this tournament where I will be representing Rawalpindi Rams.”
The Super 8 T20 Cup is Pakistan domestic cricket’s premier tournament and the importance of performing in such a prestigious competition is not lost on Amir as he stated “It is a fact that this is a great honour for me to take part in this tournament and I cannot thank the Almighty for allowing me this opportunity. I had a temporary setback during the Grade 2 tournament when I got injured but I have recovered completely. I am now ready and looking forward to giving my hundred percent for the team. This is an exciting time for me and not only I but my family and my manager also share the same excitement. I am ready to go all out and bowl without fear to take wickets in this tournament and I am sure I won’t disappoint my team”.
Mohammad Amir last represented Pakistan in front of a packed house at Lords in the summer of 2010. To play again in front of another large audience will undoubtedly be playing on his mind but Amir is confident that his emotions will take a back seat when he steps onto the field in Faisalabad “I am completely ready mentally and physically to play in this tournament and am feeling totally relaxed with my focus on the goal of performing in Pakistan’s premier T20 tournament on behalf of my team”, he adds.
Whilst the immediate goal for the Punjab born Pakistan bowler, would be to do well in this tournament but given the imminent end of his international five year ban on the horizon, the thoughts of all concerned must be directed towards a return to Pakistan colours in the near term. This is an aspect which Amir would rather not think about at the moment as he clarified “I have said so before and I say again. I have some short term aims which I need to focus on; participation and excelling in the Super 8 T20 Cup is one of them. Once that is achieved then it will be up to the selectors to make their own judgement on my suitability for the national team.”
The future seems to hold a lot of promise for the young fast bowler with a return to international cricket as a distinct possibility. For the moment, Amir is intent on achieving his short term goals of playing domestic cricket and concentrating on his fitness and training, ”I intend to return to intense training for the next 2-3 months at the NCA after this tournament. I can also tell you that I have signed for a departmental team, the name of which I cannot disclose at the moment, to play First-Class cricket in the 2015-2016 season. There have been some offers for me to play in domestic T20 leagues around the world but this would be in contravention of ICC conditions so we have had to decline and just concentrate on playing domestic cricket in Pakistan. My immediate focus is simply to prepare for the First-Class season ahead and to leave the decisions for any recall to international cricket in the hands of the selectors.”
The opening game of the Super 8 T20 Cup between Rawalpindi Rams and Abbottabad Falcons is scheduled to be played in Faisalabad at 5:00pm local time on 11th May. With the world’s eyes firmly focussed on Mohammad Amir, only time will tell how the young fast bowler will respond to this new challenge in his life.