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I see this as the start of a campaign to start pressurising Amir: Inzamam ul Haq

Inzamam-ul-haq
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq addresses a press conference. (Photo by ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)

Chief selector Inzamam ul Haq has expressed his disappointment over with the statement of England captain Alastair Cook that left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Amir will have to face ‘consequences’ in the form of a hostile reception from the crowd when he makes his comeback to test cricket in the first Test at Lords from July 14.

England Test skipper Alastair Cook has said that Pakistani pacer, Mohammad Amir may well face a harsh reaction from the English fans. Speaking at a sponsor’s event Cook said, “I’m sure there will be a reaction and that is right. That is part and parcel, that when you do something like that there are more consequences than just the punishment — that is something for him to cope with, whatever comes his way,”

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Inzamam was clearly unhappy with Cook’s comments. Inzamam said he saw Cook’s statement as a move to put Amir under pressure since he was a real threat to England.

“How would the England captain feel if they were in Pakistan and our captain made a similar statement about some player?” Inzamam asked.

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“I see this as the start of a campaign to start pressurising Amir. Because not only England but even Australia and South Africa see him as a threat. And he can be a match-winner in England,” Inzamam said on Geo Channel.

The chief selector said he would advise Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq to take some steps to counter this pressure.

“I think it would be a good idea if Amir was not made to field at the boundaries because he will then face hostile comments and remarks. It is best to keep him away from the crowd at the start. But to me there is sympathy for Amir in England and the best way he can answer is to perform in the series and I am confident he can do it,” said the former captain.

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Inzamam also spoke about the challenges he faced while selecting the team. He says that it was ]a tough job for him to select the Pakistan squad for England.

“There was pressure on me because I had not seen much first class cricket and whatever cricket I saw was on television. And it was my first assignment as chief selector. But we have tried to select the best possible squad and I am pretty sure they will do well,” he said.

The veteran of 120 Tests stated that he was hopeful that with the sort of preparations made for the England tour it would be a controversy-free series unlike 2006 and 2010.

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“I am confident we have the management to handle things well and this will be a controversy-free tour,” he said.

He, however, conceded that the series would be a tough one for Pakistan as they were playing outside Asia for the first time in three years and England had been very dangerous at home. He also said in the fitness Tests conducted before the England tour in the boot camp in Kabul and then in Lahore, the team’s trainer was pretty satisfied with the situation.

“But there is no doubt that our players need to work harder on their fitness if Pakistan is to compete with other teams.”

Few of star players including the likes of Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal faced the axe for the England tour. Inzamam also justified their exclusion.

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“Their performance was okay but they had disciplinary issues and they need to improve their discipline. I went by the captain and coach reports and I am pretty sure they will come back if they improve their discipline.”

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