On Monday, Mohammad Amir celebrated his return to the cricket in England with two wickets in quick succession against Somerset at Taunton.
Amir, a left-handed bowler suffered a shocking pause to his career at Lord’s in 2010 when, during a Test against England, both he and partner Mohammad Asif were caught bowling no-balls to order on the instructions of Salman Butt as part of a tabloid newspaper sting operation.
They all received five-year bans from cricket and jail terms.
However, the 24-year-old Amir is now back in England with the Pakistan team and would make his return to Test cricket in the first of a four-match series at Lord’s on July 14.
Following Pakistan’s 359 for eight declared on the second morning of three in their tour opener, Amir took the new ball.
Regardless of the suggestions from England captain Alastair Cook that spectators might taunt Amir, there was only polite applause from a modest crowd for the 24-year-old.
Marcus Trescothick, a former England opener blocked his first ball and obtained two fours off Amir’s opening over.
Amir, however, struck with his 14th ball back on English soil when he managed a superb outswinger that got to Trescothick late, then on eight, which Amir edged behind, with wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed maintaining a perfect diving catch.
Amir attacked again when an inswinger bowled Adam Hose.
Making his first-class entrance and most likely never having encountered bowling of such quality before, Hose was out for 10 and Somerset were 23 for two.
At this point, Amir had taken two wickets or six runs in 11 balls.
With Pakistan’s innings, there was an ironic moment as the first delivery Amir faced was a no-ball from Somerset and Scotland seamer Josh Davey.
The next ball saw Amir caught behind off Davey for a duck.