Pak pacer Amir quits Test cricket, to continue limited-overs career

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Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir waves after a press conference in Lahore, Pakistan. Pakistan left-arm bowler Amir has announced his retirement from Test cricket at the age of 27, Friday, July 26, 2019. (PTI Photo) (PTI7_26_2019_000121B)

Pakistan’s left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir announced retirement from Test cricket on Friday (July 26) but affirmed his commitment to continue playing limited-overs for his country.

Amir, 27, has been indicating for some time now that he wanted to quit playing Test cricket and focus on one-day internationals and T20s.

In a statement issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board, 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.”

In an interview, he said that he was a human being and not a machine, while referring to the non-stop cricket he had played since returning to the Pakistan team after the end of his five-year ban for spot-fixing in 2015.

Last year, he had informed head coach Mickey Arthur about his intentions but was told to carry on till the World Cup.

Amir, who played 36 Tests for his 119 wickets, has also appeared in 59 ODIs and 49 T20 internationals. In the recent World Cup in England, he ended with 15 wickets.

“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 teams upcoming challenges, including next years ICC T20 World Cup,” he said.

“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,” he added.

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“I want to thank all my teammates 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.”

PCB’s managing director Wasim Khan said that Amir has been one of the most exciting and talented left-arm fast bowlers in Test cricket in recent times.

“He overcame adversity as a young cricketer and came back stronger not only as a cricketer but also as a better human being. His skill, on the field, and his personality will be missed in the dressing room in the longer format,” he said.

“However, we respect his decision and look forward to him continuing to play an integral role in white ball cricket for Pakistan,” he added.

Amir made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in Galle in July 2009. Before Amir, Pakistani stalwarts, Muhammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik have also announced retirements from Test cricket.