London, Sep 17:
England fast bowler Stuart Broad said his team will be ready to put aside the past and treat Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir as just another opponent if and when their paths cross on the cricket field in the coming 12 months.
The Pakistan fast bowler was banned for five years for his involvement in the spot-fixing controversy during the Lord’s Test in 2010.
The prospect of Amir playing against England during next month’s tour of the UAE receded on Wednesday following his omission from Pakistan’s squads for the Test matches as well as the Pakistan A warm-up games.
But there remains a good chance that the 23-year-old will be involved at some stage of Pakistan’s tour of England next summer.
“I genuinely don’t know what it’ll be like (facing him again). There was obviously quite a big cloud over that Test series victory in 2010. But the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave the players punishments and they are getting close to having served them,” Broad was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo on Wednesday.
“I’ve seen a few interviews that he’s done and he seems sorry and keen to get back on a cricket field. But as a player you are not too bothered who you are playing against, to be honest, you go a bit internal and focus on what you do,” he added.
Amir, who was 18 at the time of the Lord’s Test in 2010, had become the youngest bowler in history to reach 50 international wickets when he was caught in the newspaper sting that revealed that he was involved in bowling deliberate no-balls at the instance of bookies.
He was banned from all cricket for five years and also received a six-month jail term following a trial at the Southwark Crown Court, from which he was released after three months.
Pakistan’s first Test at Lord’s since that infamous fixture begins on July 14 next year, and is sure to attract a huge interest if Amir is selected to play.
However, Broad said that England had learnt during the Ashes to put aside personalities when it comes to high-profile contests.
“I think the mistakes we made as an England team this summer were maybe when we focused on the Australians too much and what other teams were doing,” he said.
“We’ve definitely learned from that mistake and it’ll be very much about what we are doing within our changing room. What our team are doing to take us forward. Whoever we are playing against we’ll be right on the money,” Broad said. (IANS)