Amir would have been my first choice for World Cup: Wasim Akram
DUBAI (92 News) – Wasim Akram, the legendary Pakistan fast bowler, believes Mohammad Amir could still make a late entry into the national squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.
Since the 2017 Champions Trophy final, Mohammad Amir has picked up just five one-day international wickets at an average of 92.60. And that prolonged run of poor form cost the left-arm pacer his spot in Pakistan’s 15-man squad for the World Cup, which starts on 30 May.
Despite the decline in form, Amir has found a strong supporter in Akram, the former left-arm quick, who retired with 916 international wickets. Akram even said that Amir would have been his first pick, thanks to his tendency to do well in England and Wales.
1. 🇵🇰 vs Kent ▶️ Won by 100 runs
2. 🇵🇰 vs Northamptonshire ▶️ Won by 8 wickets
Pakistan have gotten off to a dream start on their long England tour! https://t.co/f7dfk6zHlz
— ICC (@ICC) April 30, 2019
“We can’t discount Amir from the World Cup,” Akram told AFP. “Amir would have been my first choice for the World Cup considering English conditions where he performs well.”
In eight ODIs in England, Amir has picked up nine wickets, and although his average of 38.33 isn’t anything to write home about, his economy rate of under five suggests that he’s been difficult to get away.
Akram did acknowledge that Amir hasn’t been at his best but backed the bowler to come good sooner rather than later.
“I am confident that he will do well once his rhythm is back… he is a good learner so I hope things will come good for him sooner than later because Pakistan need him.”
Amir will have an opportunity to make a final claim during the limited-overs series against England, where Pakistan face the hosts in five ODIs and also a Twenty20 International. The series will begin with a T20I in Cardiff on Sunday, 5 May.
Sarfaraz Ahmed concerned about Amir’s form
Earlier on April 8, Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has expressed concern over ace bowler Mohammad Amir’s form ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.
Amir, who was dropped after just one match in the recent five-match one-day international series against Australia in the United Arab Emirates, has gone wicketless in nine of his last 14 games. And Sarafraz was worried about the fast bowler’s predicament.
“When your main strike bowler is not taking wickets regularly, obviously it causes concern to the captain,” he told a television channel.
In the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Amir’s spell of 3/16 in the final rocked the tournament favourites India to hand Pakistan victory. He was in exceptional form then, tormenting the strong Indian top-order and it looked like the 26-year-old was here to stay. Unfortunately, a string of below par performances since then have cast a shadow of doubt over his inclusion in the World Cup squad.