As they say, “rough waters make a good sailor,” Mohammad Amir demonstrated it with his lustrous performance in the World Cup 2019 after he had to undergo the punishment as an outcast for a period of five years for an abominable act of spot-fixing in 2010.
Having bounced back as a lethal weapon, the journey from two fixed no-balls at Lord’s Test in August 2010 that marred Pakistan with scars of ignominy to two crucial wickets at the same venue against South Africa in the World Cup that brought laurel to the nation has been nothing short of magical.
With 15 scalps to his credit, Muhammad Amir has become the leading wicket taker of World Cup ‘19 and Men in Greens’ dreadful bowling threat.
Head Coach Micky Arthur was quick to lavish praise on the 27-year-old on his terrific bowling spell throughout the event and especially against the Proteas that led to their victory on Sunday – keeping their hopes still alive. He got Hashim Amla on his first ball of the innings, which set the pace for Pakistan.
Arthur said, “I’ve always said that Amir is a very smart bowler. He backs his skills and his skills are excellent.
“He works incredibly hard but now he has that pace back and is bowling with a confidence he didn’t have before. His confidence waned and waned and waned but now he has spring back in his step, he’s swinging the ball again and bowling with extra pace.
“You can see the glint in his eye – which is a really good sign. That is just confidence. Our guys need to be built up all the time – when they’re bashed, they don’t respond in a kind way, so hopefully his performance vindicated the talent out there,” he said.
Amir had been facing a bad patch of his career until this year when the biggest cricket event was staged.
In 2018, Mohammad Amir had only been able to take five wickets in 14 innings with an average of 92.6 runs. However, World Cup 2019 proved to be a game changer for him where in merely five innings of the he has managed to bag 15 wickets with an average of 14.6 runs.
Because of his poor form, Amir had to face a lot of opposition before he could be selected to represent his national team for the World Cup. However, former skipper and fast bowler Wasim Akram had said that he always believed Amir could stage a comeback and he did.
“We can´t discount Amir from the World Cup,” Wasim had told AFP.
“Amir would have been my first choice for the World Cup considering English conditions where he performs well.”
In 2007, Wasim Akram had himself selected Amir as a prospect at a pace camp in Lahore. By 2010, he had risen to prominence worldwide, but within months of his splendid career, he got into spot fixing and was eventually punished to be left out of cricket for years.
A crucial figure in Pakistan’s Champions Trophy titular triumph, Virat Kohli once duly confessed in an interview that he dreaded Amir the most among all the bowlers