Raja criticises PCB for rushing Amir recall


Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja believes Mohammad Amir has been recalled to international cricket too quickly.

Amir is part of Pakistan's Twenty20 and one-day international squads for their tour of New Zealand, having completed a five-year ban for his part in the spot-fixing scandal of 2010.

The return of the left-arm paceman has polarised opinion and Raja feels the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have shown desperation by turning to Amir so soon, suggesting the issue could have been handled more cautiously.

"It's a desperate situation because they want to win and Amir is seen as the guy who can get them those wins," Raja told ESPNcricinfo.

"He has got loads of talent and ability; that has never been in doubt. But yes, the process has been rushed just to accommodate him and I think Pakistan needed to give more time to the entire squad to soak it in.

"I think there is the objective view and the emotional view and three or four of the players have been rather emotional about the subject. It is not Amir, it is the theme, the larger picture that seems to upset them and it needed to heal properly; it is still pretty raw to some of them.

"I wanted more homework done from the board to make everyone realise the importance of an Amir comeback."

Azhar Ali tendered his resignation as ODI skipper, which was rejected by the PCB, following Amir's selection in a conditioning camp and Raja has sympathy for the top-order batsman.

Raja added: "It is a tough one for Azhar Ali, who obviously was not comfortable with Amir being in the dressing room. Now that he has decided to play for Pakistan, I think he has done the right thing.

"He has registered his annoyance; he has made his point felt. The entire cricket fraternity knows where he is with regard to issues of spot-fixing but having said that he shouldn't sacrifice his own career.

"Managing Amir will take a little bit of time, it is not an impossible situation but the first six to eight months will be a real test for Pakistan. They need to come to grips with a guy who has got them into these negative headlines."