Mohammad Amir is taken off the field after injuring his knee in the field, Australia v Pakistan 1st Test, 1st day, Brisbane, December 15, 2016
BRISBANE: Jeers were expected for Pakistan paceman M Aamir Thursday at the day-night first Test against Australia in Brisbane. Still, few would have predicted the send-off Aamir received at the Gabba – or it seems, his return. The left-arm quick was taken off the field on a stretcher after suffering what appeared to be a serious knee injury while fielding on day one of the pink-ball Test. Aamir will undergo scans on Friday but, surprisingly, the fast bowler later returned to the field on Thursday evening during Australia’s first innings. “His knee went into the ground and we all feared it might be worse but, thank God, he recovered very quickly and came back and he’s feeling much, much better,” Azhar Ali said of Aamir’s injury. “He came on and bowled with the second new ball, which is a very good sign.” A lively, packed Gabba crowd first delighted in Aamir’s gaffe when he dug his right knee into the turf near the boundary and crumpled to the ground, conceding a four to Peter Handscomb.
However, the crowd became more subdued as Aamir remained on the ground and they eventually applauded the speedster off the field as concerned teammates looked on. “Hopefully, it’s not as bad as it first looked – bad bruising and not something major,” ex-Test skipper Mark Taylor said. There were concerns Aamir would cop it from the Gabba crowd after serving three months in prison for spot-fixing. “Hopefully, people won’t care about that. He was a young lad who was led astray – he’s done his time,” former Australia Test opener Chris Rogers told ABC radio of Aamir’s plight. Aamir was mocked by New Zealand fans – and, at one stage, even a ground announcer – on his first international tour in January since serving a five-year ban from cricket. Thankfully, there was no sledging of Aamir from the Brisbane faithful on Thursday – but history did repeat at the Gabba. Aamir became the latest high-profile player to fall foul of the Gabba turf, after England quick Simon Jones infamously damaged his knee sliding in the field during the 2002 Ashes Test in Brisbane. And South Africa’s JP Duminy tore an achilles in a freak training accident in 2012 in Brisbane. However, Aamir – jailed for accepting bribes for bowling no-balls at Lord’s in 2010 – looks to have avoided another lengthy sideline stint.