Karachi - Former Pakistan fast bowler
Shoaib Akthar on Tuesday said he was eager to take youngster Mohammad Amir
under his wing and guide him back to the national team following his return to
cricket after a five-year ban.
Amir, 23, was suspended along with
then-captain Salman Butt and pacer Mohammad Asif for bowling no-balls to order
as part of a complex betting scam exposed by a tabloid sting during Pakistan's
tour of England in 2010.
The International Cricket Council (ICC)
lifted all sanctions on the trio earlier this month, making them eligible for
domestic and international matches.
Akhtar, the fastest bowler in history, said
he was looking to buy a team in the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL)
Twenty20 tournament that will be staged in Qatar in February, and wanted to
"I am planning to buy a team in the
PSL and would like to have Amir in my team so that I can guide him and make him
an effective bowler," Akhtar, who retired in 2011, said.
Now 40, Akhtar's career briefly overlapped
with Amir, who made his debut in 2009 aged 17.
The pair shared the attack in two one-day
internationals in the 2010 Asia Cup and two Twenty20s against Australia in
England the same year, before Amir's career crashed to a halt following the
"Everyone knows how talented Amir was
when he played cricket so on his return he will have to work hard to become the
same bowler," said Akhtar.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has devised a
rehabilitation programme for all three players, with Amir already playing grade
cricket since April this year under a special dispensation by the ICC.
He picked up seven wickets in his last
match, a non first-class qualifier for the Sui Southern Gas Company, with a
cunning mix of inswingers, outswingers, bouncers and varied angles from over
and around the wicket.
While some influential voices, including
ex-captain-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja, have voiced their opposition to the
spot-fixing trio ever being allowed to represent their country again, Akhtar
said it was right for them to get a second chance.
"I have seen them suffer in the last
five years so all three must be treated in the same manner," said the
former player, whose own career was dogged by controversy including a drug
scandal, an infamous dressing room fight and frequent claims of
"Imagine Pakistan's attack with Amir,
Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan, Shahid Afridi and Yasir Shah and if they play
together we can win the next World Twenty20," he added.