Amir booed on Pakistan return

Mohammad Amir

Amir (left) was jailed in November 2011 for three months for his part in a conspiracy to bowl deliberate no-balls against England

Mohammad Amir was booed on his return to international cricket after a five-year ban, but took a wicket as Pakistan beat New Zealand in a Twenty20 match.

Amir, 23, was playing for Pakistan for the first time since his suspension for spot-fixing ended.

Pakistan beat their hosts by 16 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, with Mohammad Hafeez scoring 61 as they reached 171-8.

Amir opened the bowling, taking 1-31 from four overs, but did not bat.

The left-arm fast bowler was convicted for spot-fixing in a Lord’s Test in 2010 and was one of three Pakistan players jailed in November 2011 for his part in a conspiracy to bowl deliberate no-balls against England.

He served three months in prison.

Amir’s suspension originally covered all forms of the game but, in January last year, he was cleared to play domestic cricket in Pakistan.

Earlier this month, he was named in Pakistan’s squad to tour New Zealand for three Twenty20 and three one-day internationals.

Despite a valiant 70 from Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson, it was Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi who stood out at Eden Park, scoring 23, taking 2-26, and claiming three catches and a run-out.

In a frustrating day for Amir, Williamson was dropped off his bowling in the fourth over.

He had another catch spilled toward the end of the match before taking the wicket of Matt Henry in the penultimate over.

The two teams will play the second of their three T20 internationals in Hamilton on Sunday.

What can Amir expect in England?

Matthew Hoggard says Amir will take “a bit of flak” from the Barmy Army if selected for Pakistan’s tour of England this summer.

“He will be tested by the English fans,” the former England bowler told BBC World’s Stumped programme.

“He will have to be strong enough to say: ‘Yes, I did do it in the past, but that’s behind me.’

“He’s going to have to take a bit of flak and get the trust from his team-mates and the public again.

“He’s now got to prove beyond doubt that he’s whiter than white.”

England bowler Mark Wood told BBC Radio 5 live’s Friday Sports Panel: “The spot fixing thing caused a big disruption in cricket and the sport took a while to recover. It was shocking.

“Even now if someone bowls a wide or a no ball in certain games you question it and that’s because of what happened that day.

“If it was an English player you’d feel certainly let down that you were giving your all for your country and knowing that they blatantly cheated or tried to affect the result in any way.

“It really would leave a bitter taste in my mouth and I would find it difficult to have any sort of sympathy for them if they came back in the team.”

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