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Pakistan capable of surprising England: Shoaib Akhtar

Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar celebra

Karachi: Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has warned people writing off Pakistan in the coming Test series against England to be prepared for a surprise.

He also advised tainted left arm pace bowler Muhammad Aamir to remain humble on the tour and blend in with his teammates in order to sustain the pressure he will face in England playing there for the first time since the spot-fixing scandal in 2010.

Aamir was among the three Pakistani players involved in the scandal and served a five-year ban for spot-fixing.

“The best way for Aamir to counter is to perform on the field which I am sure he can do. But he also has to remain humble and not show attitude. He has to blend in with his teammates and win matches for them.

“He has to realise that this is a god sent opportunity for him. He has got a second shot at playing for Pakistan. He has to realise this is not an interval in a movie because if he makes another mistake he will be finished for life.”

Akhtar himself is no stranger to controversies said he was not surprised by statements aimed at Aamir made by England captain, Alastair Cook and other players.

“He should have no doubt he will be under the scanner all the time from different quarters,” he said on a talk show.

Akhtar said the role of the team management role be vital in England as they have to deflect the pressure from the media and elsewhere from the players and allow them to focus on the matches.

“There will be pressure from the media and if something goes wrong there will be backlash from the media. But the management must realise this is not Aamir’s tour it is Pakistan’s tour and if Aamir wins matches for Pakistan it will be best revenge for him,” he added.

The fast bowler also made it clear he didn’t think corruption could ever be wiped out from cricket.

“It is impossible because there will always be some black sheep somewhere.”

Akhtar recalled that match fixing allegations had always haunted Pakistan cricket and he had played at the peak of these allegations.

“But at times I felt there was lot of myth than truth to what was said about our players at that time. But it happens and can happen anywhere.”

Akhtar however said he got a feeling that they were many who were underestimating Pakistan and said this would be a big mistake.

“I think our bowling attack is perfectly capable of springing a surprise and our batting is pretty experienced. I don’t think England will prepare a seaming track for the first test at Lord’s. I think they will wait and see what this Pakistan team is capable off and its attitude.

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