Azhar Mahmood adamant Pakistan ‘want more’ from Amir


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CANTERBURY: Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood “wants more” from Mohammad Amir, a challenge he believes the paceman will rise to in upcoming Test matches against Ireland and England.

Amir was the hottest property in world cricket after bursting on the scene as a teenager in 2009.

He was soon earning comparisons with fellow Pakistan left-arm fast bowler Wasim Akram, with Wasim himself declaring Amir a better bowler than he had been at the same age.

At 18, Amir was the youngest bowler to have reached the landmark of 50 Test wickets.

His first 14 matches in the five-day game saw him take 51 wickets at just a fraction over 23 apiece — figures that had Amir on course to be an all-time great.

But Amir’s world was turned upside down in 2010 when he and Mohammad Asif became involved in a spot-fixing scandal after deliberately bowling no-balls during the Lord’s Test against England at the behest of then Pakistan captain Salman Butt.

In 2011 Amir was given a five-year ban by the International Cricket Council and sentenced to six months in jail by an English court.

Amir returned to international duty in 2016 but his 16 Tests since his comeback have yielded 44 wickets at a relatively expensive 37.25.

“We want more from Amir, as bowling coach I want more from Amir,” Mahmood told AFP after the paceman took one wicket for 45 runs in 15 overs during Pakistan’s drawn tour opener against Kent at Canterbury on Tuesday.—AFP