QUICKIE: Bopara says Amir’s ability to take wickets top of the order and later in the innings will be helpful for Essex when he joins them in the summer of 2017. PHOTO: AFP
There was a time when everyone was speculating a negative audience reaction when left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir travelled to England with Pakistan team after making a comeback for his country, but all-rounder Ravi Bopara says the 25-year-old’s next visit, an impending appearance for the Essex County Cricket Club in the summer of 2017, is eagerly anticipated.
The 31-year-old, who plays for Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) alongside Amir, thinks the ‘world-class’ bowler will make life difficult for a lot of batsmen in English conditions.
“There is tremendous excitement to have Amir on board as he is a world-class bowler,” Bopara told PakPassion. “It will be great to see him bowl with the red ball and the white ball in English conditions and I am sure, he will make life difficult for a lot of batsmen. We are all really looking forward to having someone like him at Essex as he is a superstar and a wonderful bowler. It’s not only exciting for the Essex players but it will be great for the fans as well who will show up hopefully in large numbers to see Amir in action.”
Amir’s pre-spot-fixing claim to fame included his venomous spells against the English Test side which included the likes of Andrew Strauss, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood, and Bopara thinks he can be blow people away with his swing which will be helpful for Essex in their attempt to bag silverware.
“He is a tremendous fast-bowler and someone who can blow batsmen away at the top of the order and then clean up the tail later in the innings,” explained Bopara. “He is able to get you those four or five wickets before you even know it, pretty much in the blink of an eye, especially with the red ball which he is notorious for swinging around. So, there is a lot to be excited about Amir’s arrival at Essex this summer and we must fancy our chances for some honours.”
After the announcement that the final of the second edition of PSL will take place in Lahore, everyone wanted to know which international players would be travelling to the country and Bopara was one of the few who agreed to play in Pakistan.
“I would have had no qualms about travelling to Pakistan if we had made it to the final,” he said. “Unfortunately we didn’t reach the final, but I would have had no problems travelling to Lahore to play in the final.”
However, the all-rounder said that he will be visiting Pakistan soon for charity work. “I intend to travel to Karachi for charity work in the near future,” he said. “The idea is to help the kids there through playing cricket; to raise funds and basically to help the community and the children there in any way I can. Of course, playing a PSL final or matches in future in Pakistan would be a lovely experience as well.”