As Mohammad Amir was gearing up to make his Test return, there were speculation that he might receive a hostile reception from the English fans for his wrong doings six years ago. The tainted pacer was found guilty of deliberately bowling no-balls at Lord’s Test in 2010.
He was banned for five years by the ICC and pleaded guilty to corruption offences at Southwark Crown Court. He served three months in prison and was banned from all cricket for five years.
Earlier, several current and retired cricketers said that Amir would find life difficult in England. England captain Alastair Cook said: “I’m sure there will be a reaction and that is right. 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 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.”
Former Australian cricketer Ian Chappell too echoed Cook’s predictions and said: “What’s going to happen the first time he bowls a no-ball? He is going to find life very difficult. Even if the fixers don’t come after him, life will be difficult for him in international cricket.”
So, all eyes were on Amir, when he was getting ready to bowl the first over of England’s innings.
However, barring one or two half-hearted no-ball shouts from the stands, it was a quiet reaction from the spectators.
Video of Amir bowling his first ball:
Speaking to BBC, former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott blasted the fans who were shouting no-balls.
“I could hear a few idiots in the crowd shouting ‘no-ball’. Why don’t you go home? Disappear!,” Boycott said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan were dismissed for 339 runs in their first innings.