Amir thanks Atherton for supportive words

England

Repentant Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir says encouraging words form former England captain Michael Atherton was invaluable during his ban from the game, and has thanked 'Athers' for his support.

Amir, along with Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, was found guilt of spot-fixing in 2010 and sentenced to a five-year ban, as well as some time in prison. He says that without the support of people like Atherton, he'd have given up.

Amir, who is back playing domestic cricket, said on Pakpassion.net: "Mike Atherton is someone else whose words and support really gave me a boost and inspired me.

"I've been given a second opportunity. Sometimes in life you don't get a second chance, but I want to make the most of this second life I have been given.

"That support was vital at a time when I was at my lowest and I will always be grateful to those people around me who showed me support when I needed it most.

"It was a very difficult time for me. During those days cricket and playing cricket again were the last things on my mind. In fact it was whilst in prison that I decided I wouldn't play cricket ever again.

"However my legal representatives really supported me through that time and motivated me to not give up on cricket. It’s down to their support and the support from friends that I am playing cricket again.

"Otherwise I would have walked away for good from the game I have always loved."

Meanwhile, former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is supportive of Amir's return to the game, and says he'd love to have him in any side he's involved with, especially if he buys a PSL side.

Akhtar said to AFP: "I am planning to buy a team in the PSL and would like to have Amir in my team so that I can guide him and make him an effective bowler.

"Everyone knows how talented Amir was when he played cricket so on his return he will have to work hard to become the same bowler."

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