Bangladesh contract excites returning Amir


Returning paceman Mohammad Amir Wednesday said playing a Twenty20 league in Bangladesh next month will be the first step towards reviving his international career, halted by a spot-fixing ban.

The 23-year-old is contracted to feature in the Bangladesh Premier League for Chittagong Vikings starting from November 24 in a pre-draft deal finalised and signed last week.

“I am really thankful to the team for choosing me and I will try my best to give them my 100 percent performance and enthrall the Bangladeshi fans,” Amir told AFP. “It will be the first step towards reviving my international career.”

His burgeoning talent, described as the “hottest” in international cricket by legendary Pakistan allrounder Imran Khan, was halted by a five-year spot-fixing ban in 2011.

Amir, along with former Test captain Salman Butt and fellow bowler Mohammad Asif, was banned for accepting illegal money to orchestrate deliberate no-balls in the Lord’s Test against England in 2010.

The trio, along with their agent Mazhar Majeed, were also jailed in the UK.

In January this year the International Cricket Council allowed Amir to feature in domestic home matches after an amendment to its anti-corruption code which allows all banned players to resume cricket at a lower level a few months prior to the end of their bans.

Butt and Asif were not allowed the dispensation.

Amir has been in great form in the qualifying rounds of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, taking 34 wickets in just four matches to help Sui Southern Gas qualify for the main tournament.

Amir, who is targetting the World Twenty20 in India next March for his international return, said he was happy with his form.

“Right now I am really happy with my performance, which really gives me confidence,” he said.

He will feature in his first first-class match for five years from October 26 against Lahore, where he may face some of his former teammates.

“I am focusing on the Quaid-e-Azam trophy right now, and my dream is to make my team national champions,” said Amir.