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Amir confirmed for Champs Trophy final

Left-armer a key inclusion for Pakistan who ware aiming to end a 25-year global one-day trophy drought

Pakistan have confirmed pace ace Mohammad Amir has recovered from a back problem and will play in the Champions Trophy final on Sunday.

The 25-year-old left-armer missed Pakistan's shock eight-wicket semi-final win over tournament hosts England in Cardiff on Wednesday with a back spasm.

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But after bowling in the nets in London two days out from the decider, coach Mickey Arthur confirmed on Saturday that Amir would return to the side to take on India.

Speaking to AFP on Friday, the left-armer had been confident of making a return.

"I am fast gaining fitness," he said.

"I bowled in the nets and felt no discomfort and since we have one more day (to prepare) I hope the recovery will be complete.

"I look forward to playing as it's a big occasion," added Amir, now firmly back in the international fold after his career was halted by a ban and jail sentence for his part in a 2010 spot-fixing scandal during a Test against England at Lord's.

Pakistan through to semis in Cardiff thriller

Amir, who took two wickets, including that of all-time batting great Sachin Tendulkar, when Pakistan beat India at Centurion in the 2009 Champions Trophy, starred with both bat and ball in the virtual quarter-final victory over Sri Lanka in Cardiff on Monday.

He took 2-53 in 10 overs as Sri Lanka were held to 236 and then made an unbeaten 28 as he and Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed (61 not out) steered their side to a tense three-wicket win with an unbroken stand of 75.

But he was hardly missed on Wednesday, with fellow left-arm paceman Rumman Raees taking 2-44 on ODI debut to help skittle England for just 211.

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Amir, however, has become a mainstay of the Pakistan team since returning to the side last year, appearing in 47 of the team's 57 matches across all international formats following his comeback from a five-year ban.

"The back spasm took two days to get over, and he's better now," Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood said on Saturday.

"We will go with Amir if he is fit. But we don't mind - if he is not fit, then we move on with Rumman Raees.

"We have the bench strength. Last match, when Amir was not there, people were worried about our main strike bowler not playing.

"But the way Rumman Raees came in and bowled, it showed we have the bench strength.

"We have guys who have such skill and such an ability that they can perform on any stage. It is just a matter of self-belief and confidence. I think anyone can replace anyone."


Champions Trophy 2017 Guide

Squads: Every Champions Trophy nation


Schedule


1 JuneEngland beat Bangladesh by eight wickets

2 JuneNew Zealand v Australia, No Result

3 JuneSri Lanka lost to South Africa by 96 runs

4 JuneIndia beat Pakistan by 124 runs

5 JuneAustralia v Bangladesh, No Result

6 JuneEngland beat New Zealand by 87 runs

7 JunePakistan beat South Africa by 19 runs (DLS method)

8 JuneSri Lanka beat India by seven wickets

9 JuneBangladesh beat New Zealand by five wickets

10 JuneEngland beat Australia by 40 runs (DLS method)

11 JuneIndia beat South Africa by eight wickets

12 JunePakistan beat Sri Lanka by three wickets

14 JuneFirst semi-final: England lost to Pakistan by eight wkts

15 JuneSecond semi-final: Bangladesh lost to India by nine wickets

18 JuneFinal: Pakistan v India, The Oval (D)


19 June – Reserve day (D)


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