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Pakistan fast bowler Amir retires citing 'mental torture'

December 17, 2020 16:50 IST
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A source close to Mohammad Amir said the bowler has conveyed to the PCB his disappointment at the way he was treated by the national selectors and the current team management.

IMAGE: A source close to Mohammad Amir said the bowler has conveyed to the PCB his disappointment at the way he was treated by the national selectors and the current team management. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir has announced his retirement from international cricket at the age of 28, the country's cricket board (PCB) said on Thursday.

Amir put a dramatic end to his international cricket career, alleging that he has been "mentally tortured" by the management of his national board, which called the move a personal decision.

Amir, who was jailed in 2011 for his part in a spot-fixing scandal, had retired from Test cricket last year.

The 28-year-old left-arm pacer made the surprise announcement in a video interview released by Pakistani website Khel-Shel.   

 

"I am quitting cricket this time because I have been mentally tortured. I can't bear this torture. I had faced torture from 2010 to 2015, I remained outside cricket for whatever the reason. I served the punishment and did everything," Amir, who is currently in Sri Lanka, said referring to the ban he served for his involvement in spot-fixing.

"But I feel tortured by this continuous talk that PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) has invested (on me). I can't play under this current management."

The PCB issued a short statement after its chief executive Wasim Khan spoke to Amir once the video of his interview went viral on social media.

"(Amir) confirmed to the PCB chief executive that he has no desires or intentions of playing international cricket and, as such, he should not be considered for future international matches," the PCB said in a statement.

"This is a personal decision of Mohammad Amir, which the PCB respects."

A source close to Amir said the bowler has conveyed to the PCB his disappointment at the way he was treated by the national selectors and the current team management.

"Amir told Wasim Khan that he had been punished for his decision to leave playing Test cricket last year and even though he wanted to serve Pakistan in the white ball formats, he had been deliberately ignored by the team management," the source said.

Last week Amir was involved in a war of words with Pakistan bowling coach and former captain Waqar Younis after the latter, in a media interaction from New Zealand, said that Amir did not retire from Test cricket because of workload but because he did not want to play the longer format.

Amir had last year quit Tests to focus on white-ball cricket as he felt his body could not take the load of playing all the formats. He claimed 119 wickets from 36 Tests after making his debut in 2009. He served a five-year ban from 2010 to 2015 on charges of spot-fixing.

"I can give my best for Pakistan in white ball cricket. But every month or two they say something about my bowling, or I am ditching this and that, there is no workload on me etc.

"It means that I have been given wake-up call that I am not in the scheme of things and I should be on the sidelines. With all these thoughts I am doing this (quitting). I am reaching Pakistan in one or two days and I will give a statement stating the reasons," he said alluding to his omission from an ongoing T20 International series New Zealand.

Amir was a part of the Pakistan squad which won the 2009 World T20 Cup and was also there when they won the Champions Trophy title in 2017.

He said only two persons -- former PCB chief Najam Sethi and ex Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi -- had helped him when he came back after serving his ban.

"I will give credit only to these two people. Mr Sethi had helped me single-handedly ... and when everybody said after I came back that don't play with Amir, at that time Afridi helped me."

"I took my personal decision but it was presented in a wrong way that I don't like to play for my country. Who does not want to play for country?" he asked.

Amir also made it clear that once he reaches Pakistan, he will release an official statement regarding the matter.

The Pakistan pacer played 36 Tests, 61 ODIs, and 50 T20Is. Amir went on to take 259 wickets across three formats of the game. Amir had played his first international match during the 2009 T20 World Cup. However, a big turning point came in 2010 as Amir was arrested for spot-fixing and he was given a five-year ban for bowling two deliberate no-balls in a Test match against England.

Last year, Amir had announced his retirement from Test cricket in order to focus on white-ball cricket. He called time on his career after playing just 36 Tests, in which he scalped 119 wickets.

In November this year, Amir was dropped from Pakistan's T20 squad for the three-match series against New Zealand. He was last seen in action in the Lanka Premier League, where he represented Galle Gladiators.

He bowled exceptionally well in the tournament for the Galle Gladiators, who ended as the runners-up after losing the final to Jaffna Stallions.

 

 

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