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Amir takes break from international cricket over ‘mental torture’

By Our Correspondent
December 18, 2020

LAHORE: Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir has taken an indefinite break from international cricket because of differences with the current management.

In a video interview with a Pakistani channel, Amir said that he would be reaching Pakistan in a few days (from Sri Lanka, where he has been playing the Lanka Premier League) and release a more detailed note stating his reasons, but said that it is clear to him that he cannot continue playing under the current management.

“I am quitting international cricket for now because I have been mentally tortured. I can’t bear this torture. I faced torture from 2010 to 2015 when I remained outside cricket for whatever reason. I served the punishment and did everything,” said Amir, 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 (in me). I can’t play under this current management,” he added.

Amir quit Test cricket last year to focus on white-ball cricket as he felt his body could not take the load of playing all formats. He claimed 119 wickets from 36 Tests after making his debut in 2009.

“I can give my best for Pakistan in white ball cricket. But every month or two they say something about my bowling. 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).

Bowling coach Waqar Younis had recently stated that Amir did not quit Tests because of workload and the reasons were best known to the bowler.

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 helped me . . . 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 the country?” he asked.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed that Amir had retired from international cricket and said the board “respects” his decision.

“This is a personal decision of Mohammad Amir, which the PCB respects, and as such, will not make any further comment on this matter at this stage,” PCB said in an official statement.

PCB chief executive Wasim Khan spoke with Mohammad Amir on Thursday afternoon following reports that the fast bowler had announced his retirement.

“The 29-year-old confirmed to the PCB chief executive that he has no desires or intensions of playing international cricket and as such, he should not be considered for future international matches,” the statement added.