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Legendary Pakistan pace bowler Waqar Younis has admitted that he is a massive fan of left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir, and even branded him as a “match-winner”.
Amir was banned for five years for being involved in a spot-fixing scandal that stunned the cricketing world back in 2010.
However, since making his comeback in 2016, some people have criticised him for not being the same bowler he was when he splashed onto the international scene as a teenager.
Younis came to Amir’s defence and pointed out that it is difficult for the 26-year-old to replicate all the success he had before he was banned, especially since he was not allowed to play any cricket during his five-year suspension.
“No, I don’t think there is anything to worry about,” Younis told PakPassion. “There is some wear and tear on him as he was playing international cricket at such a young age.
“It’s not easy to come back after being out of the game for five years. You can’t expect an 18-year-old kid to be out of the game for five years and then come back and be the same bowler and do the same things he was doing before his ban.
“The game has moved on also, it’s more fast-paced and there is more Twenty20 cricket being played around the world. But he’s a fighter. I was always supporting him for his comeback to cricket as I feel that everyone makes mistakes in life.
“We are living in a world where we should be able to forgive people and move on as long as they have learnt their lesson. He’s an asset for Pakistan cricket and he remains a match-winner.”
Younis added that Pakistan have to closely monitor Amir’s workload in order to ensure he doesn’t break down and become injury-prone.
“I think for Mohammad Amir as a strike-bowler playing in all three formats all of the time is a bit too much because he’s also playing in Twenty20 leagues around the world,” Younis said. “He has to be careful with his workload and that hunger to play for your country has to remain. Sometimes that hunger can diminish if you are playing in all formats, all of the time.
“At the moment, I think he’s bowling the best he has ever bowled during his career. He’s working hard on his game and he’s been a bit unlucky that he has not always got the results that his bowling has deserved.”