Amir fit and ready to play final against India: Arthur

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London

Fast bowler Mohammad Amir has regained fitness and is ready to play the Champions Trophy final match against arch-rival India at The Oval on Sunday, confirmed coach Mickey Arthur. The fast bowler could not play the semi-final against England due to back spasms. In place of the star fast bowler debutant, Rumman Raees was included in the final playing-11 against the hosts. Raees took two wickets in the match on the economy of 4.88 Amir was spotted participating in the Pakistan team‘s nets session recently. The bowling coach Azhar Mahmood while speaking to the media yesterday on the question of whether Amir will play the final or not, replied: “he is better and has participated in nets, but the management has yet to decide on his inclusion in the playing XI for the final match.” Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir believes he is “fast gaining fitness” ahead of the Champions Trophy final against arch-rivals India. 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. But after bowling in the nets at the Oval — the venue for Sunday’s final — on Friday, Amir told AFP: “I am fast gaining fitness. “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,” explained Amir, who took none for 32 in Pakistan’s 124-run defeat by India in the teams’ tournament opener at Edgbaston on June 4. “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 scam during a Test against England at Lord’s. 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 two for 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.—AFP