Pakistan left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Amir has announced his retirement from Test cricket. He will, however, continue to play white-ball cricket for his country.
The 27-year-old wanted to focus fully on limited-overs cricket and also to help Pakistan plan well for the upcoming Test championship with the country having a number of talented fast bowlers at their disposal.
In a statement, Amir said: “It has been an honour to represent Pakistan in the pinnacle and traditional format of the game. I, however, have decided to move away from the longer version so I can concentrate on white ball cricket.
“Playing for Pakistan remains my ultimate desire and objective, and I will try my best to be in the best physical shape to contribute in the team’s upcoming challenges, including next year’s ICC T20 World Cup.
“It has not been an easy decision to make and I have been thinking about this for some time. But with the ICC World Test Championship commencing shortly, and Pakistan boasting some very exciting young fast bowlers, it is appropriate that I call on my time in Test cricket so that the selectors can plan accordingly.
“I want to thank all my team-mates as well the opponents in red ball cricket. It has been a privilege to play with and against them. I am sure our paths will continue to cross in limited-overs cricket as all of us play and compete with the same vigour and determination.
“I also want to thank the PCB for providing me the opportunity to don the golden star on my chest. And, I am grateful to my coaches who have groomed me at various stages of my career.”
This decision was perhaps always on the cards considering that he was not able to perform at his very best in the long-format of the game for a long time.
His only notable performance in Test cricket came against the West Indies in 2017 in Jamaica when he took a 6-wicket haul. Including that performance, Amir only managed to pick up 68 wickets in 22 Tests at an average of 31.51 after his comeback to international cricket from the spot-fixing ban.
There were rumours regarding Amir's retirement way back in 2017 during Pakistan's tour of the West Indies but the fast-bowler went onto deny those allegations.
Even though Amir was coming back to international cricket after a lengthy 5-year absence due to the spot-fixing scandal that unravelled out of the infamous Lord's Test between England and Pakistan, a lot was expected from him considering the way he burst on to the scene as a 17-year-old. His performances in Sri Lanka, England and Australia before the ban ensured that he was being talked about as the 'next big thing in Pakistan cricket' and naturally comparisons with the great Wasim Akram were also on the rounds.
Now that his Test career has come to an end, Amir will look to make the best out of the years he has in limited-overs cricket. He was Pakistan's leading wicket-taker in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup with 17 scalps in 8 matches.
With three ICC events (2 World T20s and 50-over World Cup) lined up for the next four years, Amir will be expected to lead the Pakistan bowling attack.Published 26 Jul 2019, 16:22 IST