Last year, Pakistan pacers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz drew a substantial amount of criticism for their abrupt retirement from the longest format of the game.
Now, Amir has opened up to his debatable retirement decision from Test cricket, justifying his move to elongate his career.
“I know that if I play 3 formats especially test cricket, my body won’t let it happen. My body was so broken that people on social media started saying Amir’s swing is gone and pace is low and he’s not getting rhythm. So they should know Amir is not a machine and human and there has to be a reason that the pace fell, swing got lost and I wasn’t getting rhythm. I came back after a 5-year gap and I don’t want my career finished in 2 years,” Amir told Mushtaq Ahmed.
It is not the first time a prominent cricketer became selective about the formats they want to feature in at the highest level.
Even former Indian captain MS Dhoni called it quits from red-ball cricket back in 2014 to focus on only two formats. Dhoni went on to play until the 2019 ODI World Cup.
In the build to the showpiece ODI tournament in England, Amir was struggling with his wicket-taking form and was dropped frequently from the side. Amir, then, described his ordeals while sustaining several injuries throughout the tournament.
“The World Cup axe was a big blow for me and I thought I’ve now gotten to a stage where I’m dying to play the tournament and I’m getting dropped so I had to decide about my cricket and how I can keep myself at the top level for the next 5/6 years. Playing is not an issue but staying at the top is and that’s a big challenge.,” Amir added.
In the end, Amir signed off by lashing out at critics questioning his dedication for the national team.
“Whatever format I play in I wear the Pakistan flag on my chest, white ball or red ball. If I take 500 wickets in ODI’s and T20’s what’s the problem with it? And then people think that I did this to play leagues, tell me when have I said that I don’t want to play for Pakistan and let me play a league instead. People don’t know what happens behind the scenes. My counter-question to people criticising my decision is that do they want to see me play for a year or for 7 years?” Amir concluded.