Pakistan’s newly-appointed chief selector, Haroon Rashid, has asserted that the doors are still open for retired fast bowler Mohammad Amir to make an international comeback.
Left-arm pacer Amir announced his shock retirement from international cricket in December 2020 at the age of 28, citing mental torture.
Last week, during a press conference, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi commented that Amir could play international cricket for Pakistan again if he takes back his retirement.
In an interview with Cricket Pakistan, Rashid stated that if the fast bowler comes out of retirement and performs, there is no reason why he wouldn’t be considered for selection. He said:
“I feel players should take decisions after careful consideration. Your single statement can cause controversy. In my opinion, players should focus on their cricket. There are a lot of players and every player considers themselves worthy of selection in playing XI, but it all depends on which players are suitable in certain conditions.
“In Amir’s case, I am not sure about his status. I have heard he is thinking of taking his retirement back. It is good that he is playing. If he continues to perform, he will be in contention for selection like other players."
Amir has represented Pakistan in 36 Tests, 61 ODIs, and 50 T20Is, claiming 259 international scalps in total. He is currently representing the Sylhet Strikers in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
“You have to see which players can fit in your current combination” - Pakistan chief selector on Shoaib Malik
During the interaction, Rashid also opened up on the chances of veteran Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik making an international comeback. Malik, who will turn 41 on Wednesday, February 1, last turned out for Pakistan during a T20I against Bangladesh in Mirpur in November 2021.
According to Rashid, Malik’s comeback will depend on whether the team needs the services of a highly experienced player like him for an important tournament. The 69-year-old explained:
“You have to see which players can fit in your current combination. In fact, we also have to see if such player [Malik] can play any specific role in an important event, which can increase the possibility of Pakistan winning.
“However, if a young player performs the same role, it can be debatable. But I have kept my position open regarding this topic and have not formed a specific strategy. Once my selection panel is formed, we will come with a specific selection policy.”
Malik was part of the Pakistan team that reached the semi-finals of the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE.
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