Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has thrown support behind his ward, Mohammad Amir, who had recently announced Test retirement to set focus on the white-ball cricket. The Proteas-based Arthur has defended Amir’s decision by stating that Amir had given it a thought since long. He added that it has been on the cards.
Pertinently, Amir had faced a five-year ban for his involvement in the Lord’s spot-fixing scandal in 2010.
Mickey Arthur admires Mohammad Amir:
Thus, Amir had remained off the field for over five years. Arthur reiterated that the prolonged gap had taken a toll on Amir. He added Amir was not adjusted on managing the workload across formats.
“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,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Arthur, as saying.
Following Amir’s decision, many were left perplexed, whereas, Arthur didn’t express any surprise over 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 said.
The left-arm pacer Amir had represented Pakistan in 36 Tests. He had snared 119 wickets at an average of 30.47.
Arthur backs Amir for a solid show in the white-ball cricket:
Arthur might have been reluctant in accepting Amir’s decision, but, at the same time, he is happy that a bowler in Amir will help Pakistan for an extended period in the limited-overs cricket.
“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,” Arthur added.
With Amir bidding adieu to Test cricket on July 26, the former cricketers have also expressed shock on former’s retirement announcement.
Arthur had also expressed discontent following Amir’s retirement. He further acknowledged the fact that Amir had done exceedingly well for Pakistan since making debut in whites at Galle against Sri Lanka.
Amir, in his retirement interview, maintained that he wants to remain fit, to represent Pakistan in the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.