Nippy pace and sharp swing. These were the two features that aptly described Mohammad Amir’s style of bowling when he first entered onto the cricketing scene. Handpicked by Wasim Akram and brought into mainstream from obscurity at a trial camp, Amir officially began his cricketing journey with much zeal and promise in 2009.
Bubbling with passion that translated into skillful bowling at a tender of 17, Amir became the face of a spirited Pakistan team that clinched the 2009 World T20 title. Constantly breaching the 90 mph mark, the teenage prodigy grew in stature rubbing shoulders with the best pacers in the world.
His initial limited overs success extended into impressive showings in Tests as well, as he created the record for being the youngest bowler to pick up 50 wickets in the format. However, the image of a youthful cricketing virtuoso that he had built in such a short span of time fell apart on the eve of the final day of the Lord’s Test in 2010.
A member of the disgraced trio that tarnished the reputation of the game, Amir was convicted of spot-fixing for his role in deliberately bowling no-balls. An unprecedented downfall, all doors looked closed for Amir as he was handed a five-year ban from cricket by the ICC.
A tumultuous 5 years that saw the left-armer make rare appearances in public and consistently showing remorse for his ill-judgment, Amir was finally cleared to make a comeback to cricket in September 2015. After spending some months in the domestic circuit, recapturing his lost mojo, he made his international return against New Zealand in January 2016.
Instantly making the headlines, Amir stole the spotlight once again as it seemed like he had not lost any bite despite all those years away from the cricket field. First, registering a hat-trick in the inaugural Pakistan Super League (PSL), Amir rattled India’s top order in the Asia Cup T20, indicating his revival.
This was clearly not the end of his rejuvenated cricketing excellence, as Amir most importantly led his team to their maiden Champions Trophy title following an unparalleled opening salvo that obliterated the Indian batting lineup. From being the antagonist in the spot-fixing scandal, here was Amir, the blue eyed boy of Pakistan cricket who played the key role in the CT triumph.
Alas, this was the last of Amir’s heroic exploits on the cricket field as a significant slump in form has pushed him out of the selectors’ priorities. Since his exuberant spell against India, Amir has been averaging close to a hundred with no improvement in sight.
Just when things seemed terribly ominous for the individual, his career has hit a huge blow as Amir has been diagnosed with a bout of chickenpox, rendering his chances for selection at the World Cup 2019 quite flimsy. A stellar career that has seen many ups and downs, Amir has reached yet another low point in his cricketing journey as he still remains deprived of a chance of representing Pakistan at the World Cup.