Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir has revealed that he aims to regain the cricket community’s trust, but acknowledged that it will be a long and arduous process.
Amir added that he hopes his performances during the upcoming limited overs tour of New Zealand will persuade everyone that he has changed.
Being picked for the New Zealand tour is a huge step for Amir as he is set to make his international comeback for the first time since he was found guilty of spot-fixing during a Test match against England at Lord’s in 2010.
However, Amir is still waiting to be granted his visa, which could prove problematic as he served time at a young offenders institute as a result of his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal.
“I am a different person this time,” Amir told ESPNcricinfo. “My vision about life has changed and now I am more positive. I have experienced a lot at such a minor age. I don’t know about the future and nobody knows what will happen next. As a professional sportsman I can only give my best shot to win the trust back.
“I know it is a slow process and I will definitely win it with my performance. I am determined to do this for the fans who stood by me … now it’s all about their pride and I will be the guardian of their trust.”
While Amir understands why some people may be hesitant to believe he has changed, he urged them to give him a second chance and forgive him for the mistakes he made in the past.
“This is tricky. If anyone says you are bad this mean he wants you to be good, and I am here to be good and I want to be good,” he added. “If they say I have done bad then they should also give me a chance to change myself for good. I need their support and I will prove to them that I am a changed person.
“I know people madly in love with cricket, they got hurt, and they now should trust me only because I want to give back their love for cricket, by performing. I want them to trust me because they lost something because of me and I want to give back with my whole heart and soul.”
Amir’s inclusion in the ODI and Twenty20 squad did not please ODI captain Azhar Ali and veteran batsman Mohammad Hafeez, but the 23-year-old made it clear that both Ali and Hafeez are entitled to their own opinions.
“Everyone has an opinion and I respect that,” he said. “It’s their right to express whatever they felt and I am not hurt at all. You can’t push and force people to do what they don’t want to do. Whatever they said it was their opinion and I believe if there are issues it should be addressed, discussed. Credit should be given to the board as it intervened and united us all together.
“In the camp I met all, and I am happy they all heard me. I am lucky they understood me and now the atmosphere is good around me. I think it’s more of communication gap as five years are a lot. I think when you mix with them and talk to them they automatically start realising and see that I am a changed person so I think with time things will be good.”
Pakistan are set to tour England from June to September this year and Amir hopes that the England cricketing community will not hold a grudge against him, especially as the spot-fixing scandal took place at the venue known as ‘The Home of Cricket’.
“I think time will tell. But I know when they see me playing they will see good things and I hope they will accept me,” he said. “Playing cricket in England is what I am looking forward to and I would love to bowl at Lord’s again. Fans – no matter where they are in Pakistan or England or wherever – were hurt, I know that and the most important goal is to win them all.”