In the wake of Pakistan’s struggles in the ongoing first Test against Australia, cricket great Wasim Akram has come down hard on Mohammad Amir. Akram criticised Amir’s decision to retire from Tests as Pakistan toiled hard in the Gabba Test. Pakistan were all out for just 240 before Australia batsmen compounded their miseries.
Openers Joe Burns and David Warner added 222 runs for the first wicket before the latter and Marnus Labuschagne added 129 runs. Labuschagne top-scored for the hosts, scoring his career-best 185 while Warner scored 154. Australia were eventually all out for 580 on day three. Leg-spinner Yasir Shah was the pick of the bowlers for tourists by picking up four wickets.
“What really happened was two of our premium bowlers just retired from Test cricket,” Wasim Akram told Fox Cricket as he tried to find out the reason behind Pakistan’s dismal show.
He further criticised both Amir and fast bowler Wahab Riaz’s decision to retire from Test cricket before the Australia tour. While he was not that critical of Wahab, he did sound pretty disappointed with Amir who retired from Tests at an age of 27. The bowling legend, in fact, went as far as saying that had he been in charge of cricket affairs, he would not have offered Amir a central contract.
“Wahab Riaz, I’m all for him, he’s 35 years of age, OK he retired from Test cricket, fair enough. But Mohammad Amir, the Pakistan board and the whole country invested five years in him,” he said.
“He’s 27 and he’s retired from red-ball cricket. If I was the Pakistan Cricket Board, I wouldn’t have given him a central contract because he retired a month ago,” Akram added.
Money over the country, says Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram went on to say that Wahab and Amir chose money over the country. He said that both players knew how tough the series would be and thus opted for the easier route. Both Amir and Wahab were part of Pakistan’s T20I squad for the series against Australia. Wahab is currently playing in Mzansi Super League in South Africa.
“Both of them knew this tour would be difficult and white ball (cricket) is easy, they thought they’ll play leagues around the world and make money.”
“I’m all for financial gain, but most of the time the country should come first. Amir should have come here and played a Test series and then maybe next year retired. That’s the problem Pakistan had,” he concluded.
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