Afridi backs Amir's Pakistan recall


Shahid Afridi says Mohammad Amir deserves a second chance on the international scene with Pakistan after serving his punishment

Amir was named in Pakistan's Twenty20 and one-day international squads to face New Zealand later this month, ending his exile from the national team following his suspension for his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal.

The pace bowler was banned by the International Cricket Council for five years after bowling what were deemed to be deliberate no-balls in a Test against England.

His initial return to the Pakistan set-up at a training camp caused disruption in the squad, with Mohammad Hafeez and ODI captain Azhar Ali refusing to attend while Amir was present.

That issue was swiftly addressed and Afridi believes it is time for the 23-year-old to be given a second chance.

"A person makes a mistake and accepts his mistake," Pakistan's T20 skipper said. 

"Amir spoke the truth in England, he did not lie, he spoke the truth in court and has served his punishment, he is now playing cricket so I think Amir should be given a chance."

Should Amir flourish against the Black Caps he could form part of Pakistan's squad for the World Twenty20 in March, a competition Afridi is keen to focus on.

He added: "I think there is a need for a training camp before the Twenty20 World Cup because we have no time ahead, I think this camp was good in terms of fitness but along with fitness we should also be focusing on skills. 

"The one thing we miss are partnerships between batsmen at the moment, we must improve and avoid back-to-back wickets falling. 

"The World Twenty20 is not far away if we commit club class mistakes it is not good for the team, we are now playing against the world's top teams and our draw is tough."