Pakistan duo stay away due to Amir


Pakistan team manager Agha Akbar has confirmed that Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez did not join up for a conditioning camp ahead of the series with New Zealand due to the presence of Mohammad Amir.

Amir's hopes of making a return to the international stage where boosted when he was included in a 26-man training squad after impressing in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

The 23-year-old was suspended for five years by the International Cricket Council in 2011 after bowling what was deemed as deliberate no-balls in a Test with England.

He was released from Portland Young Offenders Institution in Dorset after serving half of a six-month sentence, having been found guilty of conspiracy to cheat at gambling and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments at Southwark Crown Court in London.

Pakistan one-day international captain Azhar and all-rounder Hafeez did not attend the first three days of the training camp as they were playing domestic matches and were also absent on Thursday.

Akbar told ESPN Cricinfo: "Both are not joining the training camp today apparently because of Mohammad Amir."

A frank Azhar said: "I will not attend the camp as long as Amir is there. This is my decision and we are open to discuss with the PCB. I don't want to comment on Hafeez's decision, but we both have the same stance."

Pakistan next month travel to face the Black Caps in three Twenty20 matches and three one-day internationals.