Broad wary of Pakistan's prodigal son Amir


Stuart Broad says England must look beyond Mohammad Amir's past and concentrate on the threat Pakistan's prodigal son will pose in the first Test at Lord's.

Left-arm quick Amir was a promising teenage fast bowler in the Pakistan team that lost 3-1 to England in 2010, Broad scoring his only Test century to date as the hosts sealed victory in the fourth match at Lord's by an innings and 225 runs.

Amir and team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were later found guilty of conspiracy to cheat at gambling and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments over spot-fixing during the Test.

The youngest member of the disgraced trio served half of a six-month prison sentence and returned to competitive cricket last year having completed a five-year ban.

Amir's form since his comeback prompted a Pakistan recall and earned him a date with destiny when he returns to the scene of his crime against the same opponents on Thursday. 

Broad, along with captain Alastair Cook and fellow bowler Steven Finn, will be the only survivors of the England team from that tainted contest when the two sides meet again in London.

And the experienced bowler, set to lead the attack in the absence of the injured James Anderson, has cautioned his team-mates against getting caught up in Amir's gripping personal narrative.

"It is a huge story, back for his first Test at Lord's since the controversy six years ago, a massive story," Broad is quoted as saying at an Investec event.

"But, as a team, it is a dangerous place to get waylaid by that, because we could find ourselves in a lot of trouble.

"Having seen the way Amir has bowled at Taunton, we need to get in the right frame of mind, because he can do us some damage," he added, referring to four wickets claimed in a drawn tour match against Somerset last week.

"Let's start looking at him as a cricketer and a bowler, and how we can negate that."

According to Broad, England could struggle to force a result without Anderson in their ranks. Cook's men were held to a draw at Lord's by a disappointing Sri Lanka team early last month.

"I think our biggest challenge is going to be this wicket, because you look at all the Middlesex scores and they are all bore draws," he said.

"The biggest test will be trying to do what no other team has done this year, and that's win a game taking 20 wickets at Lord's.

"It proved to be a big challenge when we had Jimmy in the side four weeks ago, so it will be an even bigger challenge this week."