England skipper Alastair Cook’s comment on Mohammad Amir has not gone down too well with Pakistan’s chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq.
Cook said Amir will face a hostile reception in England— and insisted it will be up to the Pakistan fast bowler to deal with the abuse.
“I’m sure there will be a reaction and that is right,” said Cook. “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.
“There is always a sideshow and a story running in the media. Whatever Test match you are playing in there is always something off the field, whether it is political or something like this. It won’t affect us as a side, we will concentrate on what we can concentrate on. The media will ask questions about it but it will not affect us,”said the English skipper.
Reacting to Cook’s comments, Inzamam asked:“How would the England captain feel if they were in Pakistan and our captain made a similar statement about some player?”
The former Pakistani skipper said that Cook’s comments were a ploy to pile pressure on the young pacer.
“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.
Inzamam also had some words of advice for Pakistani skipper Misbah-ul-Haq.
“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,” he said.
“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 Inzamam.
Inzamam, who represented Pakistan in 120 Tests, said that selecting the squad for the England was a tough task for him.However, he is hopeful that the team will perform well in 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 chief selectors also hoped that the upcoming series will be “controversy-free” unlike the last two tours during 2006 and 2010. While the 2006 tour was marred with ball-tampering scandal, spot-fixing ruined Pakistan’s image in 2010.
“I am confident we have the management to handle things well and this will be a controversy-free tour,” he said.
Speaking on the decision to drop batsmen Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal for the England tour, he said:“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.”