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Amir on brink of Pakistan comeback after being included in PCB camp

LAHORE: Mohammad Amir’s bid to make a comeback to the national side was given a major boost after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) inducted the fast bowler in a fitness training camp for 26 players which also includes T20 captain Shahid Afridi.

The 26 players, picked by the selection committee and approved by Shaharyar Khan, are likely to form the core of Pakistan’s squad for next year’s World Twenty20 and the latest development suggests Amir could well be part of that group.

“The main objective of the camp is to improve the overall physical fitness of all players and to enhance the technical aspect of each player’s game and to prepare them for the upcoming international events,” the PCB said in a statement.

“Shaharyar Khan, Chairman PCB has approved the names of 26 players picked up by the PCB National Selection Committee for the fitness camp.”

Amir’s inclusion in the training camp is likely to fast-track his move up to the national side after Pakistan’s bowling stocks were clearly found wanting in the recent ODI and T20 series against England.

And the 23-year-old vowed to put in the hard yards if selected for Pakistan.

“Will try my best to give 100% to my country,” he tweeted after being included in the training camp.

Amir was also on the brink of selection in the Pakistan ‘A’ side earlier this month but strong opposition from some of the current players put his return in national colours after the 2010 spot-fixing scandal on the back burner.

The left-armer already has the backing of coach Waqar Younis, who said Amir deserved a second chance.

Waqar had a detailed discussion on Amir’s future with PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan earlier in the month, and said “we are all on the same page” about the young fast bowler’s future in international cricket.

“He (Amir) has served his punishment and he deserves to come back in the (cricketing) community and enhance his profession,” Waqar said.

Players selected for the training camp

Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Sharjeel Khan, Azhar Ali, Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Shahid Afridi, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Bilal Asif, Sohaib Maqsood, Amir Yamin, Wahab Riaz, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Umar Gul, Rahat Ali, Junaid Khan, Ruman Raees, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Saad Nasim, Mohammad Amir

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