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Mohammad Amir will be a welcome member of the Karachi Kings squad when the HBL Pakistan Super League debuts here next month, according to his franchise owner and teammates. The pace-bowler made his return to international cricket this month after five years out of the game for spot-fixing. His comeback from his ban for corruption has been far from universally celebrated, with two of his Pakistan teammates threatening to boycott the tour to New Zealand because of his selection.

Azhar Ali, Pakistan’s one-day international captain, and Mohammad Hafeez did, however, finally agree to play alongside the disgraced bowler. According to Salman Iqbal who owns the Karachi Kings, no such issues have faced the newly created side.

The businessman says Amir was one of the most sought after players at the draft ahead of the tournament, and suggested the owners of the other four teams were keen to trade some of their own privileges in order to secure his services. Iqbal, who is the chief executive of the news channel ARY, said he discussed the purchase with Karachi Kings’ Captain, Shoaib Malik. Malik confirmed the rest of the Kings players accepted the 23-year-old left-armer. The reception for Amir at the team’s launch party at the National Stadium in Karachi last week was further confirmation he is a popular pick, according to the owner.

Fawad Alam, though, also confirmed the Kings squad are “very happy” they will be playing alongside Amir rather than against him.

“What is done is done,” Alam said. “Now is a new time. Five years back, they [Salman Butt and Mohammed Asif were banned for corruption at the same time as Amir] apologised to everyone and I think we have to move on now. We have to accept him. He is a talented cricketer, so we are very happy he is in our team.”

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