Azhar Ali on Mohammad Amir return to ODI side: Have moved on, my job to keep dressing room harmony
As a teenager Amir took 51 wickets in 14 Tests, 25 in 15 one-day internationals and 23 wickets in 18 Twenty20 matches.
New Delhi: After opposing Mohammed Amir's return, skipper Azhar Ali has now welcomed the pacer to Pakistan's ODI side for the series against New Zealand.
Ali had ealier even refused to play alongside the tainted bowler who is making his return to the international scene after a prison term and five-year ban for spot-fixing.
"We have moved on. We are united and looking forward to the challenge," Ali said as the team practised in blustery conditions on Sunday.
"Whatever my stance was, my job is to lead and keep harmony in the dressing room."
Afridi had no problems having Amir in his side for the just completed Twenty20 series, won by New Zealand 2-1 with Amir bowling 11 overs and taking one for 100 over the three matches.
While Afridi backed a second chance for Amir, Ali stayed away from the first two days of a training camp before the New Zealand tour saying he would not attend "as long as Amir is there".
He resumed the captaincy after Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan intervened and said he has since talked to Amir and did not expect any problems.
"He bowled well in the T20s. My job is to try to get the best out of him," Ali said. Pakistan have a strong squad of quick bowlers to choose from with Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz and Rahat Ali also in the mix.
"Obviously we will try to put a combination together which suits these conditions and the wind factor. We`ve been practising bowling into it, everyone is ready," Ali added.
Before the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, which also involved then Pakistan captain Salman Butt and fellow bowler Mohammad Asif, Amir was regarded as the hottest property in international cricket.
As a teenager he took 51 wickets in 14 Tests, 25 in 15 one-day internationals and 23 wickets in 18 Twenty20 matches.
(With Agency inputs)