PSL 2019

Amir’s Test retirement was on the cards: Arthur

LONDON: Mohammad Amir’s decision to retire from Test cricket at the age of 27 might have shocked many but Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur was not in the least surprised, saying that it was on the cards as Amir’s Test career “was taking a strain on his body”.

Arthur also revealed that the left-arm pacer had been speaking to him about retirement for “some time” and that he “reluctantly accepted” Amir’s decision.

“It was on the cards for a long while. Amir had been speaking to me about it with me for some time now. His Test career was taking a strain on his body. It’s not about management here. It’s about his desire to play Test cricket and the effects it has on his body,” Arthur was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “I think Amir’s an unbelievable bowler and reluctantly I accepted his decision because that’s what he wanted to do and that’s what he thought was best for himself. What it does do is give us a white-ball bowler that I think we can get a longer period from,” he added.

Amir had missed five years of international cricket after being banned for for his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal.

Arthur said that being banned for five years took a toll on the cricketer as he was not equipped to handle the rigours of day-to-day cricket.

“He had five years out of the game, we mustn’t forget that. In those five years, he didn’t do anything. His body was not up to the rigours of day in, day out Test cricket. We pushed him as much as we could during England and South Africa series because he is such a good bowler whom we wanted during those tours. We’ve tried everything we possibly could with Amir,” Arthur said.

“He could have managed those five years better. He’d be the first one to acknowledge that. But I understand where he was in his whole life, so it was a tough period for him. I understand all that. I’ve got a very soft spot for Amir. As a person and as a cricketer, I admire him greatly. Yes, I am disappointed he won’t be playing Test cricket for us. But it was made in the best interests of his white-ball cricket in mind,” he added.