Left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir shocked the cricket world by announcing his retirement from Test cricket at the age of 27. Amir had made his Test debut at the age of just 17 against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2009 and played his last five-day international match against South Africa at Johannesburg in 2019. He picked up 119 wickets in just 36 Tests.
His Test career was marred by his five-year ban for his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal in the Test series against England in 2010. He also had to serve prison time in Britain and had to earn his comeback into the Pakistan team in 2016. He became a national hero once again, as his three-wicket haul against India in the finals of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 helped Pakistan lift the trophy for the first time, ushering in a new era in their cricket.
Amir blames injuries and no rest for his retirement from Tests
On Friday, Amir’s decision to retire was announced by PCB on Twitter and later Amir himself took to Twitter to clarify some things. Biggest of all was his reason to quit the game and decision to focus on ODIs and T20Is, especially when ICC T20 World Cup 2020 will be played in Australia.
Amir was quoted in the statement saying, “I played Test, ODI, and T20 cricket consistently for three years and my body didn’t get enough rest. In this duration, I sustained injuries. I thought I have to choose as one’s performance is affected – sometimes in Test cricket and sometimes in white-ball cricket. With time I will get older and a fast bowler’s career is not that long. So, keeping in mind my fitness and other things, I decided that I should focus on white-ball cricket.”
Former Pakistan greats like Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar expressed surprise over his decision to call quits in the longest format of the game, especially when Pakistan are slated to play Australia and England in upcoming Test series. Akhtar even went as far as questioning whether Wahab Riaz and Hassan Ali will follow Amir’s footsteps and call it time on their Test careers to focus on white-ball cricket.
Twitter was filled with tributes and appreciation for the left-arm fast bowler for his services to the Green Army in red-ball international cricket, in what can be termed as a short and unfulfilled career. There were messages on the social media platform from both ardent fans and even current and former cricketers who wished to celebrate Amir’s brilliant efforts in Test cricket.
Here are some of the tweets:
To me Mohammad Amir retiring from Test cricket is a bit surprising because you peak at 27-28 and Test cricket is where you are judged against the best, it’s the ultimate format. Pakistan will need him in two Tests in Australia and then three in England.
— Wasim Akram (@wasimakramlive) July 26, 2019
its too early to announce retirement at this young age @iamamirofficial from test cricket. In my opinion not a good example for Pakistan test cricket,but wish you all the best with white ball cricket @TheRealPCB
— Kamran Akmal (@KamiAkmal23) July 27, 2019
All the best with your white ball cricket @iamamirofficial
— Waqar Younis (@waqyounis99) July 27, 2019
Shoaib Akhtar "The fact is that all these players just want to be T20I bowlers. Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, all these bowlers want to play only in T20Is. Even playing in ODIs seems to be a big task for them" #Cricket
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) July 27, 2019
It was a sad day for #Cricket and all the fans of this wonderful sport around the globe. Two of the best in business said goodbye to the formats. Pakistan's #MohammadAmir announced his retirement from Tests whereas Sri Lanka's mighty #Malinga played his last ODI. We'll miss it.
— Awais Chattha (@AwaisChatthaOD) July 27, 2019
I am very sorry to hear that @iamamirofficial has retired from Test cricket. Because I've seen people play test cricket until the age of thirty or forty. And I thought that now Mohammad Amir is in very good form and can give Pakistan a lot of success in the test.
— Zain Mohsin KH🇵🇰 (@ZMKhilji) July 27, 2019
— Maarij (@Maarijf7) July 27, 2019
Sad news for Pakistan Cricket, when a bowler like #MohammadAmir announces his retirement from test cricket.
— Tauseef Ansari (@tauseefnsr) July 27, 2019
Players like Mohammad Amir are the advocates of the traditional format. But when a player of such caliber decides to walk away from the Test set-up while citing lame & outdated reasons it's nothing but shame! In the name of priorities, we've lost plenty in the gentleman's game.
— Tahir Ibn Manzoor (@TahirIbnManzoor) July 27, 2019
What’s Mohammad Amir doing man? First retirement from test cricket, now seeking British citizenship?
Big test matches coming up for Pakistan, it was rather time to pay back and improve his stats.
27 is not an age to retire.
— Imran (@misz110) July 27, 2019
Mohammad Amir is only 27 though.
— S (@sy__kay) July 27, 2019
I think it was a foolish decision by @iamamirofficial of retiring from red ball cricket just before the world test championship! It was a great opportunity for him to lead tha pakistani pace attack. @TheRealPCB Mohammad Amir Test Cricket #Cricket @ICC #AmirRetires
— Ayush Rungta🇮🇳 (@Ayushrungta22) July 27, 2019
Mohammad Amir once touted as 2nd best thing to happen after the sliced bread is now retired from test cricket, no doubt he was a good swing bowler but in all fairness Mohammad Asif was 5 times better bowler than Amir and all he required was proper guidance and care. #AmirRetire
— Auto Lawyer (@man196) July 27, 2019
If you want to know why Mohammad Amir is retiring please look how Pakistan has over burdened him. He's played two less games than Hasan Ali but bowled 400 more overs. That's insane. pic.twitter.com/7JbUpxAmsE
— Seeby (@seeby123) July 27, 2019
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