England’s Stuart Broad thinks Mohammad Amir will get lively Lord’s reception
Stuart Broad insists he bears no grudges against convicted spot-fixer Mohammad Amir but has warned him to expect a rough ride from English crowds during Pakistan’s upcoming tour of the country.
Broad is the first England player to speak publicly since Amir was named in Pakistan’s squad for the four-Test series that starts at Lord’s next month. That is the venue where Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif conspired to bowl deliberate no-balls for money during the fourth Test of the 2010 series between England and Pakistan.
While Butt, then his country’s captain, and Asif are still in the international wilderness, Amir returned to Pakistan’s team for the limited-overs leg of their tour of New Zealand earlier this year and also played in the World T20 in India.
The fast bowler, 18 at the time of the scandal, has yet to play a Test match since spending three months in a young offenders’ institute. The International Cricket Council also banned him from cricket for five years. However, Amir, who looks set to secure a UK visa this week despite his conviction, looks set to re-enter the Test arena at the scene of his crime when the series against England starts at Lord’s on July 14.
Broad’s finest moment with the bat for England, his 169 during that tainted match – still his only Test century – was forgotten in the aftermath of the scandal. And although Broad says facing Amir again will not faze him – he thinks the Lord’s crowd will be less forgiving.
Fans at the Home of Cricket booed Australia captain Steve Smith mercilessly during a one-day match last summer after he upheld an appeal for hit wicket when Ben Stokes handled the ball attempting to defend himself from a Mitchell Starc shy at the stumps
Broad said: “I don’t think any ill feeling or negativity from the players will have carried through – the crowd might be a different story. We know that Lord’s is a passionate crowd and they all have their own minds. There was a lively reaction to Ben Stokes’ dismissal last year – it looked like a nasty atmosphere for a while so I guess the fans will have their own feelings on Amir.
I don’t think any ill feeling or negativity from the players will have carried through – the crowd might be a different story
Stuart Broad on Mohammad Amir’s return to Lord’s
“I think he’s served his time and the ICC have got their guidelines to what the punishments are for certain crimes and people have their opinion on that. At the end of the day as an England team you want to play against the best possible team you can and for quality of bowler I don’t think there is much doubt that he is up there with anyone. I’ve not played him for six years but in 2010 he was a constant threat.”
Broad, preparing for England’s final Test against Sri Lanka at Lord’s this week, insists he blacked out the aftermath of the spot-fixing scandal, including the trial that saw all three players jailed for conspiracy to accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat with regard to that Lord’s Test.
“I didn’t follow the case much after it happened, because I just wanted to shut it to the back of my mind,” he said. “I think the result was devalued. We couldn’t celebrate – we didn’t celebrate – it was all a very strange time. We’d won the Test match and I remember Graeme Swann was actually quite down about it and that is not a feeling you’d ever want to have when you’ve worked so hard to win a Test match.
“The one day series that followed was quite unpleasant and the crowds reflected the bad feeling in the whole thing.”
Stuart Broad was speaking as a Hardys ambassador at 1853 Wine Shop in Weybridge. For exclusive wine offers, visit 1853wineclub.com.