Inzamam blasts Cook's 'campaign' against Amir


Pakistan chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq has criticised England captain Alastair Cook for suggesting Mohammad Amir should expect abuse when the Test series between the sides begins next week.

Pace bowler Amir is set to make is return to Test cricket at Lord's next week, six years on from deliberately bowling no-balls at the same venue to earn a five-year ban from the sport.

Amir took an impressive 3-36 on the second day of a tour match against Somerset on Monday, proving his red-ball abilities remain as sharp as they were when he burst onto the scene as a teenager.

But Cook, speaking before Amir's bowling exploits warned the 24-year-old that his sporting efforts may not be the focus.

"I'm sure there will be a reaction and that is right," said Cook. "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."

Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam believes Cook is merely trying to throw one of his opponents' most dangerous players off his game.

Inzamam told Geo Channel: "How would the England captain feel if they were in Pakistan and our captain made a similar statement about some player?

"I see this as the start of a campaign to start pressurising Amir. Because, not only England, even Australia and South Africa see him as a threat. And he can be a match-winner in England."

Inzamam conceded that current Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq could take measures to ensure Amir was under as little pressure as possible.

"I think it would be a good idea if Amir was not made to field at the boundaries because he will then face hostile comments and remarks," he said. 

"It is best to keep him away from the crowd at the start.

"But to me there is sympathy for Amir in England and the best way he can answer is to perform in the series and I am confident he can do it."