Mohammad Amir, former Pakistan pacer who recently retired from international cricket due to his differences with the national team Pakistan’s management, on Thursday called for an end to the “scary” dressing room culture in Pakistan cricket.
On 26 July 2019, Mohammad Amir announced his retirement from Test cricket in order to focus on limited-overs cricket. On 17 December 2020, he announced his retirement from international cricket.
Mohammad Amir: Give Players Space, Freedom And End Scary Environment In Dressing Room
Mohammad Amir had retired last month after alleging that he has been “mentally tortured” by the management of the national team, comprising chief coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis.
“Give players some space and freedom. Put an end to this scary environment in the dressing room, these very players will win you matches,” he told the media.
The left-handed pacer insisted that he was dropped from the side for personal issues and not because of his performance in preceding series.
“The issue is not about performance I know I can make a strong comeback but it is about this mental torture they put you through,” he said.
The 28-year-old said the coaches should tell him why he was dropped the next day after taking 21 wickets in the Bangladesh Premier League.
“If this is not a personal issue then what is it,” he asked. He also dismissed remarks by Misbah about his speed going down.
“My speed went down because I was not fully fit and fatigued. When I went to the Lanka Premier League I was fresh and I bowled at 145KPH,” he said.
Mohammad Amir also said he couldn’t play with coaches with different mindsets.
“One coach says speed does not matter what is important is taking 20 wickets (Waqar made the remarks on Thursday when asked about the lack of speed of the bowlers in New Zealand) and the other coach says speed is important in international cricket (Misbah said this at his interaction). Who should we believe? First think what you want to say than try to teach Mohammad Amir.”
He was reacting to recent comments from the duo after returning from New Zealand. Both the coaches in their interactions with the media spoke at length about the statements made by the pacer about them and his accusation that he had decided against playing international cricket because of the mental torture caused by them.
Mohammad Amir Is In Pakistan’s Plans And Can Be Back In Team If He Starts Performing Again: Waqar Younis
Waqar Younis said he was “hurt by Mohammad Amir’s statement” besides commenting he is in Pakistan’s plans in future and can be back in the team on basis of good performance.
“It is unfortunate that he gave such a statement and the way he made the exit from (international) cricket. He is a wonderful cricketer and I always advocated his case before Najam Sethi (previous PCB chairman). I also talked to (national team) players when he staged a comeback in 2016 to welcome him back (after the 2010 spot-fixing scandal),” Waqar said in Lahore.
Waqar Younis also said that he felt ‘sad’ after reading the pacer’s statements about him and insisted that the left-arm pacer was dropped for the New Zealand tour because of poor form and fitness.
“He is in our plans and if he starts performing again he can be back in the team.”
Asked about the remarks by the two coaches, Amir said: “I am glad he (Waqar) felt sad and bad because at least he will now realize how much someone’s statement can hurt you like I felt when he made statements about my decision to retire from Test cricket. I didn’t say anything wrong and I only spoke the truth, nothing else.”
Mohammad Amir said he faced mental torture after reading statements from Misbah ul Haq and Waqar Younis where they blamed him and said he let down the team for the defeat in Australia.
“They also said that I didn’t want to play Test cricket and his decision has nothing to do with managing workload. I was hurt by such comments and they caused me mental anguish,” he said.
Mohammad Amir said he was now being given advice that he should play domestic cricket to get back his form and a place in the Pakistan team in future.
“I think a player knows what is best for him and where he should play domestic cricket or league cricket,” he said.
The pacer, who was banned for match-fixing for five years for bowling two deliberate no balls, said no one needed to tutor him on having patience.
“Knows one knows about patience better than me. Because for five years I was not permitted to touch the cricket ball. I waited for five years to resume playing cricket and when I didn’t lose courage and patience then do you think I will do now just because I am not performing well,” Amir said.
Mohammad Amir said there were numerous legends in Pakistan cricket in the likes of Shahid Afridi who had made several comebacks into the team after announcing retirements.
“Be it Younis Khan, Muhammad Yousuf or Shahid Afridi they all made several comebacks so I am not worried I know if one performs he will be able to make a comeback.”
Mohammad Amir played 36 Tests, 61 ODIs and 50 T20Is before announcing retirement.