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Pakistan include Mohammad Amir for New Zealand series

Pakistan include Mohammad Amir for New Zealand series
Mohammad Amir ended up as the leading wicket-taker for his team Chittagong Vikings in the recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League.
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

The Pakistan selectors have named left-arm-fast bowler Mohammad Amir in the One-Day International and Twenty20 International squads that will tour New Zealand in January.

Earlier, Amir was cleared for an international return by the International Cricket Council and the Pakistan Cricket Board included him in a national training camp after he completed his five-year ban for spot-fixing in 2010. 

Before the ban, Amir was exceptional for Pakistan having picked up 48 wickets in 33 limited overs games (both T20I and ODI combined) and also raced to 51 Test wickets in just 14 matches.

Amir was outstanding on his return to domestic cricket as he performed well in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and ended up as the leading wicket-taker for his team Chittagong Vikings in the recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League. 

There have been mixed reactions to the return of Amir to the national side as Pakistan ODI captain Azhar Ali and all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez expressed their reluctance to play with the Rawalpindi pacer.

However, Amir has strong backing from the Pakistan board with senior players like Shoaib Malik and T20I captain Shahid Afridi welcoming the move.

"Amir spoke the truth both to courts and the Pakistani public. Unlike the rest who kept lying for two-three years," Afridi tweeted.

"Happy to have Amir back in team. He told me truth first time I asked him in England.

"He admitted his mistake, we should back him now."

Despite being named in the squad, there is one more hurdle for the 23-year-old to clear in the shape of the visa process given Amir's criminal conviction for his role in the spot-fixing scandal. 

"Amir's inclusion is subject to his visa and he was available for selection after being cleared by the ICC and Pakistan Cricket Board," said chief selector Haroon Rasheed.

"His recent form has been excellent and that's why we picked him."

Pakistan will play three T20Is and as many ODIs in New Zealand between 15th and 31st January.

As well as Amir, all-rounder Imad Wasim makes a return to both the squads after recovering from a fractured finger while Umar Gul makes a comeback to the T20I squad.

Pakistan Twenty20 Squad: Shahid Afridi (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Sohaib Maqsood, Sarfraz Ahmed, Anwar Ali, Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Aamer Yamin, Umar Gul, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Amir, Saad Nasim

Pakistan ODI squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sohaib Maqsood, Zafar Gohar, Imad Wasim, Anwar Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Amir 

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