‘Mental torture’: Pakistan’s Amir quits international cricket

Fast-bowler says he announced retirement in protest over ‘shabby’ treatment he received from management.

Legendary Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram described Amir, shown above, as 'the most talented fast bowler' [Andrew Boyers/Reuters]

Pakistan fast-bowler Mohammad Amir says he is retiring from international cricket after being treated in a “shabby” manner and “mentally tortured” by his team’s management.

The 28-year-old, who had already retired from Tests, was not selected in the 35-member squad for the New Zealand series last month and was also overlooked for the home series against Zimbabwe.

“I don’t want to play international cricket any more,” Amir, who has previously been banned for spot-fixing, told AFP news agency.

“I was always available for white-ball cricket but I have had shabby treatment from the team management who have mentally tortured me, and that’s unacceptable.”

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed Amir’s decision in a press release.

“PCB chief executive Wasim Khan spoke with Amir this afternoon who confirmed that he has no desires or intentions of playing international cricket and, as such, he should not be considered for future international matches,” a PCB release said on Thursday.

“This is a personal decision of Amir, which the PCB respects.”

‘Ditching Pakistan’

Amir angered head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis with his abrupt decision to retire from Test cricket in July last year.

Younis accused Amir of “ditching Pakistan” while continuing to play league cricket to earn money.

“I know my body better than anyone and that decision was primarily taken to save my body,” Amir protested.

Amir rose to international fame in 2010 as a young left-arm paceman.

Legendary Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram described him as “the most talented fast bowler”.

But Amir’s career hit a roadblock when he was banned for five years in a spot-fixing case.

He was caught, along with then Test captain Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, by a sting operation into the orchestration of deliberate no-balls in return for money in a Lord’s Test against England in 2010.

Of the three, only Amir returned to international cricket.

In 2017, he helped Pakistan win the Champions Trophy with three wickets in the final against India.

With 17 wickets, he was Pakistan’s best bowler in last year’s World Cup.

Amir took 119 wickets in 36 Tests while his tally in 61 One-Day Internationals is 81 and 59 in 50 Twenty20 internationals.

“I’ll just say two people invested in me a lot: Najam Sethi [former PCB chairman] and Shahid Afridi [former Pakistan captain]. They were the only two. The rest of the team was saying we don’t want to play with Amir.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies