Pakistan will not have to wait long to be reunited with Mohammad Amir, after the fast bowler’s UK visa was issued on Tuesday. The PCB confirmed that Amir will fly out to join the rest of the squad – who flew earlier this week – on Wednesday morning. That should place him in contention to play Pakistan’s first game on the tour, a four-day game against Kent in Canterbury that starts on April 28.
It is not clear why Amir’s visa was issued later than the rest of the squad’s. Speculation centred on an application he has made for a longer-term UK visa, on the basis that he is married to a British citizen, but that was denied by the PCB.
He faced a similar delay when Pakistan toured England in 2016, and the PCB had to ultimately engage the ECB for support in the process. It could be linked to the time Amir spent in jail in the UK after he admitted his guilt in the spot-fixing scandal on the 2010 tour.
His arrival will be a boost to Pakistan and especially to a relatively inexperienced pace attack. Even though he has played just 30 Tests, he is by far the most experienced of the four specialist fast bowlers in the squad. Rahat Ali, who is returning after a spell out of the Test side, is the next most-experienced with only 20 Tests.
Mohammad Abbas, who has made an impressive start to his Test career and is already playing county cricket for Leicestershire, has played just five Tests while Hasan Ali has just two.