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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Kohli happy to see tainted Aamir back in international cricket

Kohli happy to see tainted Aamir back in international cricket

Last updated on: February 23, 2016 15:39 IST

'I am happy to see Amir back. It's good to see that he has realised his mistake, learnt from it and rectified himself.'

Mohammad Amir

IMAGE: Pakistan's Mohammad Amir celebrates after taking a wicket during the One-Day International against New Zealand, in Wellington, on January 25, 2016. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

The jury is still out on whether Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir, who returned to international cricket after serving a five-year ban for his role in the spot-fixing scandal in 2010, should have been allowed to return to cricket, but India vice-captain Virat Kohli is "happy" to see the talented left-arm pacer back.

Amir, along with Pakistan teammates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, was banned for five years for his involvement in spot-fixing during a Test against England at Lord's in 2010. He made a comeback this year after serving his suspension.

When Kohli was asked about the game against Pakistan, he did speak about Amir's return.

"I don't feel anything different playing Pakistan. It's the same game of cricket. I look at all opposition with the same view. Matches against Pakistan are certainly competitive. People may feel excited but for players it's the same as any other team.

"I am happy to see Amir back. It's good to see that he has realised his mistake, learnt from it and rectified himself," he said.

Kohli is one of the few non-Pakistani cricketers who has welcomed Amir's comeback. In fact, the left-armer was booed on his return to international cricket by the crowd during the first Twenty20 match against New Zealand in Auckland last month.

However, Kohli went to the extent of saying that Amir could have been amongst the top three bowlers had he not strayed.

"I have always believed that he (Amir) is a world-class bowler and had he been around for the five years that he was banned he would have certainly been a top three bowler in the world. He has a lot of talent, has got pace, bounce a very good yorker," he said.

For Kohli, the best part is that Amir admitted his mistake.

"I wish him all the best. He has worked hard to make a comeback and it takes courage to do what he did."

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