Kiwi bowling coach doesn't mind Amir in Pakistan squad

Published January 11, 2016
Amir takes part in a practice session in Lahore on December 29, 2015. —AFP/File
Amir takes part in a practice session in Lahore on December 29, 2015. —AFP/File

The New Zealand cricket team is set to face Pakistan's left-arm pace sensation Mohammad Amir in the upcoming T20 and ODI series.

The Kiwis are not thinking much about Amir's history as a tainted sportsman who was jailed after proven guilty in the infamous spot-fixing scandal in 2010.

New Zealand bowling Coach Dimitri Mascarenhas on Monday praised Amir's ability as a bowler and said that it’s the only factor about the left-armer that concerns the New Zealand players and coaches.

“We know that Amir's a very good bowler and he's another guy we're going to have to deal with. It's pretty much as simple as that for us,” said Mascarenhas while talking to ESPNCricinfo.

Mascarenhas believed that since Amir has completed his punishment he deserves to be back into the cricketing fold.

“He's done his time and been cleared to play,” said the former England all-rounder. “So we'll just get on with it and play against him,” he added.

The New Zealand bowling coach dubbed the Pakistan left-arm bowling arsenal as a “different challenge” which the Kiwis will have to deal with a strong strategy.

“They'll have a lot of left-arm bowlers so that will be a different challenge,” Mascarenhas said.

Apart from Amir, Wahab Riaz is another left-arm option for Pakistani skipper Shahid Afridi in T20s while ODI captain Azhar Ali will also have the services of lanky Mohammad Irfan at his disposal later when the longer format is played.

“Pakistan will have a few guys who are a little bit faster as well, which will be a different challenge for our batters,” said Mascarenhas.

Earlier, Kiwis captain Brendon McCullum also backed Amir's return saying that he should be given “the benefit of the doubt” and allowed to play for Pakistan.

On Thursday, Amir was granted a visa to travel to New Zealand. Pakistan kick off their tour with a T20 match set be played on January 15.

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