LONDON: Pakistan’s pace spearhead Mohammad Amir has praised the way former England captain Alastair Cook welcomed him to Essex ahead of his upcoming debut with the English county.
Left-armer Amir joined Essex after helping Pakistan win the Champions Trophy, with the 25-year-old taking three for 16 in Sunday’s stunning 180-run demolition of India in the final.
He is expected to play in Monday’s County Championship fixture against title-holders Middlesex, having seemingly earned his redemption following a spot-fixing ban in 2010 that brought a five-year ban and nearly ended his career.
After his return, Amir was granted a visa to tour England last year which prompted England opener Cook to declare match-fixers should be banned for life to protect cricket’s integrity.
“I met him [Cook] the first day when I arrived and he was very nice,” said Amir. “He said to me, the funny thing, ‘I want to learn Urdu [Amir’s national language], so you have to teach me’.
“No [there are no issues between us], nothing. He’s always nice and always very supportive. Everybody knows he’s a good batsman and a very nice human being, so I think it will be a very good journey with him,” Amir added.
“The way the people treat me, they are very nice to me; the way they gave me a reception was very, very inspiring for me.”
Amir admitted his starring display at The Oval against India had given him a real boost and hopes that success will translate into a successful summer in English domestic cricket.
“That was a career booster. The way I performed in the final for my country feels very, very good, I don’t have words for that,” said Amir.
“After the way we won the final, your confidence will go up, and I will use that, definitely.”