“It was such a pity losing those years,” former Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur told AFP.
“He was on the cusp of being the next best thing and to lose those five years cost him severely… but saying that he is still a very special bowler.
“Amir is one of the best I have worked with,” added Arthur, who is now with Sri Lanka and has also coached South Africa and Australia.
Pakistan cricket statistician Mazhar Arshad has estimated that without his ban, Amir would have taken 250 wickets in both Tests and ODIs.
Only four players — Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Imran Khan and Danish Kaneria — have taken 250 Test wickets for Pakistan. Amir, now retired from Tests, has 119 in the long format and 81 in ODIs.
“Amir missed 43 Tests, 137 ODIs and 57 T20 internationals in those five years,” said Arshad.
“Projection-wise he would have reached 250 in both Tests and ODIs and, who knows maybe, won Pakistan the World Cup in 2011 (when Pakistan lost to India in the semi-finals).”