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Hafeez finally reveals reason for opposing Amir’s return

LONDON: Pakistan Test opener Mohammad Hafeez has finally revealed why he opposed tainted fast bowler Mohammad Amir’s return in national side.

Hafeez along with ODI captain Azhar Ali withdrew from the training camp set up before the series against New Zealand in January 2016, citing Amir’s spot-fixing past as the reason.

However, the dust settled when PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan intervened.

“I believe that there was some confusion about the whole issue,” said Hafeez. “Let me make it clear that what I expressed then was what can only be described as a principled stance, not taken against the individual, but rather against his actions. If anyone indulges in such activity, I will be the first one to raise my hand and question their inclusion. Now, since it came down to ensuring that the interest of Pakistan team is served well, and if everyone accepted Amir back in the fold then I had no objections.”

The 35-year-old further highlighted his affection for Amir as a Pakistan cricket team player.

“Amir is like a brother to me as is every other person who plays for Pakistan and he will have my support for that reason,” he said. “Anyhow, all that is now history but my principled stance on this issue remains the same and will never change. Also, I am not the policy maker which is really the domain of the PCB and we have to support and respect every player who is playing for the country.”

Under fire for a disappointing display with the bat at the top for Pakistan in the on-going four-match Test series against England, Hafeez said he is ready to prove his credentials if given a chance at The Oval.