Amir was sentenced to six months in prison in England for bowling no-balls at prearranged times during a match at Lord’s in August 2010 after fellow Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were also sentenced for spot-fixing.
Amir, who was 18 at the time of the incident, pleaded guilty and returned to Pakistan earlier this year. Now he wants to make a comeback to the national team and be a role model.
“I want to come back with my head held high, with a new spirit and as a role model. I accepted everything and pleaded guilty only to give myself peace,” Amir told.
Amir likened his situation to West Indies’ Marlon Samuels, who endured a turbulent 12-year career since his debut in 2000, having seen his bowling action questioned before being suspended for two years in 2008 for alleged links with bookmakers, and starred in the World T20 win.
“If [Marlon] Samuels can make it then there is no reason why I can’t make it,” Amir said.
He added that he was hopeful about being able to play for Pakistan in the future as some players also make their debuts after thirty.
“I am taking my comeback to be similar to when I was 13 and used to think about playing for Pakistan. The difference this time is that I have had the international experience. There are people who are making their debuts at 30-plus these days, so I still have plenty of time,” he said.
Amir said he did not want comparisons to any other cricketer as he wanted to prove himself as a bowler and make a name for himself.
“When I was playing, the media started comparing me to Wasim Akram, which is a wrong perception. I would like to be known as Mohammad Amir. He [Akram] was a legendary bowler but I am another name and another bowler. I want to build my name.”
He added that fan support had been very important throughout and it was what had kept him motivated.
“It’s my family’s support and the love of the fans that have motivated me to play again; otherwise there was a time when I had nearly decided not to come back to cricket.”