Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur confirmed that Mohammad Amir will play in Pakistan’s Champions Trophy final clash against India on Sunday.
The Pakistan fast-bowler didn’t play in the semi-final victory over England on Thursday because of back spasms. Amir did, however, complete a full training session with the squad at the Oval on Friday.
Arthur’s confirmation comes after Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood had previously said that while Amir had been passed as fit, he may not necessarily play.
‘Amir bowled today. Amir is fit. We have not decided about [playing him],’ Mahmood told ESPN Cricinfo.
Mahmood says that while Amir’s inclusion in the team would be ideal, the final decision regarding his fitness will be made by the player himself.
‘When you go to a final, you want your experienced player, you want him to be fully fit and participating on that particular day. But [we have told him] if he has any doubt he should let us know.
‘At the moment, he bowled today. He is fine. Yeah, definitely you would go with Amir, but we don’t mind if Amir can’t play. If he is not fit, then we have to move on,’ Mahmood added.
Mahmood has full faith in the depth of the Pakistan squad, should Amir be unable to play.
‘We have the bench strength. Last match, when Amir was not there, people were worried about our main strike bowler not playing. But the way Rumman Raees came in and bowled, it showed we have the bench strength.
‘We have guys who have such skill and such an ability that they can perform on any stage. It is just a matter of self-belief and confidence. I think anyone can replace anyone,’ Mahmood commented.Pakistan will hope for a reverse in fortunes on Sunday after losing to India by 124 runs in the group stages.