Amir proves his fitness as Pakistan draw final warm-up match

In this file photo, Pakistan's Mohammad Amir celebrates taking the wicket of Ireland's Niall O'Brien during Ireland's inaugural test match against Pakistan at Malahide cricket club, in Dublin on May 14, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 21 May 2018

Amir proves his fitness as Pakistan draw final warm-up match

  • Amir bowled at a lively pace on the side of the square during the lunch break and is understood not to have suffered any adverse reaction
  • Pakistan look likely to stick with the same side that beat Ireland with England

LONDON: Mohammad Amir appeared to prove his fitness as Pakistan drew their final warm-up match ahead of the start of their two-Test series against England.
A two-day game against Leicestershire was always likely to end in a draw and that was the case as the Midlands county finished on 226 for six in reply to Pakistan’s first innings 321 for nine declared.
Amir was one of several first-choice players rested from this match ahead of the first Test at Lord’s starting Thursday after suffering a recurrence of a longstanding knee problem during Pakistan’s preceding five-wicket victory over Test debutants Ireland in Malahide, Dublin completed on Tuesday.
The left-arm quick did, however, bowl at a lively pace on the side of the square during the lunch break and is understood not to have suffered any adverse reaction.
Amir, now 26, saw his cricket career almost ended for good after he was caught up in a spot-fixing scandal during a 2010 Test against England at Lord’s.
He was given a jail sentence by an English court and a five-year ban by the International Cricket Council, but made his return to the world stage two years ago.
In Amir’s absence, Pakistan still had several frontline bowlers playing against Leicestershire, who kept the tourists at bay thanks to a fifty from Ateeq Javid.
That Pakistan failed to dismiss Leicestershire, a Second Division county, may be regarded as disappointing but tor fixtures are a notoriously unreliable guide to how a team will perform in Test matches.
It is only two years ago since Pakistan, albeit with now-retired batsmen Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan in the side, drew a four-Test series in England 2-2.
They also upset the odds to beat arch-rivals India in the final of last year’s Champions Trophy one-day tournament at The Oval in London.
That 2016 series also saw the now injured Yasir Shah play a key role and the performance of the leg-spinner’s teenage replacement Shadab Khan could now have an important bearing on this year’s shortened campaign.
Pakistan look likely to stick with the same side that beat Ireland with England, who failed to win a single one out of seven Test during their recent tours of Australia and New Zealand, recalling talented ball-striker Jos Buttler to a reshaped batting line-up.


Another Pakistan cricketer positive for COVID-19

Updated 28 November 2020

Another Pakistan cricketer positive for COVID-19

  • All members of the squad tested negative before flying to New Zealand, though six were found positive on arrival
  • The whole New Zealand tour has been called into question since the team is unable to train

CHRISTCHURCH: A seventh Pakistan cricketer tested positive for Covid-19 as the team remained confined to their hotel in Christchurch on Saturday, unable to train and with a question mark over their New Zealand tour.
The Pakistanis, who only arrived four days ago, are already on a “final warning” for breaching New Zealand’s tight quarantine restrictions, with the growing number of coronavirus cases adding pressure to preparations for their opening match on December 18.
Despite all members of the squad returning negative tests before flying to New Zealand, six came up positive after testing on day one in the country.
“One additional member of the Pakistan cricket squad has today tested positive,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement on Saturday, confirming the seventh patient.
“The remainder of the results from the squad’s day-three swab testing, apart from the six who have already returned a positive result, are negative.”
All overseas arrivals to New Zealand must spend two weeks in quarantine.
The 53-man squad will undergo further tests on Monday and in the meantime they remain confined to their rooms after permission to train while in isolation was revoked by New Zealand authorities.
The ministry said exemptions allowing teams to train while in managed isolation “are very difficult to obtain” and Pakistan’s exemption was put on hold after several players were caught flouting social distancing protocols inside the quarantine hotel.
New Zealand’s director-general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, said Thursday that breaches of the rules were taken very seriously and the Pakistan team “as a whole has been issued with a final warning.”