Amir injury ‘concerns’ Pakistan

Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir bowls during play on day three of Ireland’s inaugural test match against Pakistan at Malahide cricket club, in Dublin on May 13, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 14 May 2018

Amir injury ‘concerns’ Pakistan

  • Amir went off with what bowling coach Azhar Mahmood said was a recurrence of a “chronic” left knee injury
  • Amir took two for nine in 10 overs as Pakistan dismissed Ireland for a meagre 130 in their first innings

DUBLIN: Bowling coach Azhar Mahmood admitted Pakistan were “concerned” by Mohammad Amir’s early exit from the third day’s play against Ireland at Malahide just over a week before the start of a Test series with England.
Left-arm quick Amir went off with what Mahmood said was a recurrence of a “chronic” left knee injury after a brief spell in Test debutants Ireland’s second innings after Pakistan enforced the follow-on on Sunday.
It was a frustrating end to the day for Amir, with the 25-year-old having both Ed Joyce (39 not out) and captain William Porterfield (23 not out) dropped off his bowling in that 3.2 over burst before the openers took Ireland to 64 without loss at the close — still 116 runs behind Pakistan’s 310 for nine declared.
The first Test against England gets underway at Lord’s on May 24.
It was also at Lord’s where the now 26-year-old Amir’s cricket career almost came to an end following his involvement in a spot-fixing scandal during a 2010 Test against England.
Amir was given a jail sentence by an English court and a five-year ban by the International Cricket Council.
He made his return to the world stage two years ago, with Mahmood suggesting Amir’s lengthy time away from the game allied to the fact he had been involved in all three international formats — Tests, one-dayers and Twenty20s — since coming back had taken a toll on Amir, who last season helped Essex win English cricket’s first-class County Championship.
“Unfortunately, he came back after five years (out) and since he came back he has played every format for us,” said Mahmood, himself a former Pakistan pace bowling all-rounder.
“We have to manage his workload as well so maybe that’s a sign for us to in the future to see where he stands.
“We are working on that, and hopefully we can come up with something.”
Meanwhile, Mahmood was clear Pakistan did not want Amir, who has taken 95 wickets in 30 matches before this match, concentrating solely on limited-overs cricket as a fitness measure.
“We want him to play Test cricket because he’s our number one bowler and we want him to run in and bowl for us so if workload — I have seen a lot of bowlers and their bodies can’t take it, so they just manage to play one format or two formats,” explained Mahmood, who starred in county cricket for both Surrey and Kent.
“But for him, it’s a concern for us and hopefully we will manage his workload in the future.”
As for Amir’s prospects of bowling again in this lone Test with Ireland, Mahmood said: “He has got a chronic knee problem which has slightly flared up.
“Hopefully, he will be ok tomorrow to bowl for us. He’s having treatment and hopefully tonight we will do a bit more treatment, tomorrow morning, ice as well, so he will be fine.”
Amir took two for nine in 10 overs as Pakistan dismissed Ireland for a meagre 130 in their first innings at this level — a total still well above England’s 58 all out in a Test against New Zealand at Auckland in March.
Pakistan then enforced the follow-on in a Test for the first time since thrashing New Zealand by an innings and 324 runs at Lahore 16 years ago.
“You never know with the weather here (in Ireland), said Mahmood.
“We want to win the Test match and that’s why we enforced the follow-on.
The day might have been even better for Pakistan had they held on to the two second-innings chances created by Amir.
“If you drop catches, with the amount of potential these guys (Joyce and Porterfield) have — it’s around 25,000 first-class runs you know batting at the crease,” added Mahmood.
“If you give them opportunities, they are good players so they can take it. But tomorrow is a new day so we can come out fresher.”


Doctors warn over Delhi’s ‘suicidal’ half-marathon

Updated 27 November 2020

Doctors warn over Delhi’s ‘suicidal’ half-marathon

  • Organizers say the “highest level of safety-standards, with bio-secure zones” have been laid on for the race starting at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
  • Delhi has been hit by a winter pollution crisis each year for the past decade when crop-stubble burning from nearby states, cold temperatures and car and industrial pollution produce a toxic mix

NEW DELHI: Top doctors have warned elite runners are taking a major health risk by competing in Sunday’s New Delhi half-marathon in the midst of a major coronavirus outbreak and soaring air pollution.
Women’s marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei from Kenya and Ethiopia’s two-time men’s winner Andamlak Belihu are among the 49 elite athletes running the 21-kilometer (13.1 mile) race, while thousands of amateurs are taking part virtually.
Organizers say the “highest level of safety-standards, with bio-secure zones” have been laid on for the race starting at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
But with New Delhi recording more than 500,000 virus cases, and air quality in the world’s most polluted capital hovering between ‘unhealthy’ and ‘hazardous’, health experts said the athletes should think twice.
“It will be suicidal for runners to run the race this time. We have such high levels of pollution, we have the risk of coronavirus,” Arvind Kumar, founder trustee of the Lung Care Foundation, told AFP.
“With the presence of this twin threat if people are still running despite knowing everything, well, I have no words to express my anguish.”
“Whether you are an international elite runner or you are a small boy from a village, the damaging potential of a damaging agent remains the same,” said the doctor.
Randeep Guleria, director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the country’s top research body, told AFP that “in an ideal situation” the race should not be run.
“Because of high levels of air pollution, exercising outside in this weather sometimes can lead to aggravation of underlying lung problems,” he said.
“Even if you are an elite runner the air pollution would still affect your lung.”
Normally thousands of amateurs would also take part, but because of the coronavirus they have been told to run their chosen route between Wednesday and Sunday and chart their time on an app.
Delhi has been hit by a winter pollution crisis each year for the past decade when crop-stubble burning from nearby states, cold temperatures and car and industrial pollution produce a toxic mix.
This year, the Indian capital is also a major concern in the battle against the coronavirus. India is the world’s second worst-hit country behind the United States, with about 9.3 million cases.
The city is considering imposing a night-time curfew because of the rising number of cases, according to media reports.
Kosgei, who is visiting India for the first time, acknowledged her concerns about traveling for the race.
“We have definitely been affected by Covid-19. I had to convince my parents and family back home to allow me to visit Delhi for the half-marathon,” she said.
“The virus has affected most of the sporting events. But it is important for us to take care of ourselves.”
As in other countries, nearly all sport in India has been canceled.
After repeated delays, the Indian Premier League cricket went ahead in the United Arab Emirates and the Indian Super League football is being held in a bio-secure “bubble” in Goa.