Mohammad Amir’s retirement from the sport at the age of 28 citing ‘mental torture’ has shocked the cricket fraternity. Hours after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) accepted his decision and released a statement, former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar has urged the board to not let go of Amir’s talent and let him train under him instead.
“Give Mohammad Amir under me and then see the wonders he does on the ground. Na zaaya kerain us ko (Don’t waste him),” Akhtar tweeted on Thursday.
Akhtar also went on to release a video where he spoke about Mohammad Amir’s comeback from the spot-fixing ban and not being the same lethal bower that he was in 2010. Talking about politics in the sport, Akhtar stressed on the importance of mental strength.
He further claimed that if Mohammad Amir trains under him for two months, the left-armer will return much more potent, bowling at 150 kmph+.
“Let Amir train under me for two months, and he will return much stronger, bowling in excess of 150 kmph,” said Akhtar, who is widely regarded as one of the fastest bowlers in the sport's history.
Earlier on Thursday, former captain Ramiz Raja had expressed his disappointment and called it a sad exit of a ‘potential superstar’.
'I was mentally tortured': Mohammad Amir
Mohammad Amir revealed that he was 'mentally tortured' by his Pakistan teammates and coaches, the PCB, and his opponents.
“I am leaving cricket for now because I’m being mentally tortured,” Amir told Samaa TV. “I don’t think I can bear such torture. I’ve borne lots of torture from 2010 to 2015, for which I served my time. I’ve been tortured by being told the PCB invested a lot in me.”
Amir further stated that the only two people who invested in him were Najam Sethi (the former PCB chairman) and Shahid Afridi (former Pakistan captain), while making it clear that the rest of the side did not even want to play with him.
Only 18, Amir was banned from the sport in 2010 for his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal. He was also jailed in the UK for the same. It was in 2016 when he returned to the sport and helped Pakistan win the Champions Trophy in 2017.
Further expressing his disgust, Amir added, “Recently, the atmosphere that’s been created means I get taunted all the time by being told I don’t want to play for my country. Every two months, someone says something against me. Sometimes the bowling coach (Waqar Younis) says Amir ditched us, sometimes I’m told my workload is unsatisfactory. Enough is enough.”
PCB released a statement which called Amir’s decision ‘personal’ and stated that the pacer had no desire or intention of playing international cricket. The board did not thank Mohammad Amir for his services in the statement, a clear indicator that all is not well.
Mohammad Amir has represented the country in 36 Tests, claiming 119 wickets at 30.47. He retired from the longer format in 2019 to focus on the white ball.
He went on to play 61 ODIs, picking 81 wickets at 29.62. In T20Is, he played 50 games and picked 59 wickets at 21.40 and maintained an economy rate of just over 7. His last international was in August in a T20I against England.Published 18 Dec 2020, 15:24 IST