Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur is not surprised by the announcement of Mohammad Amir Test retirement. Amir called time on his Test career and it was a bolt for many. Pakistan fast bowler is only 27 years of age and there is a lot of cricket left in him. However, the gun fast bowler called it a day in the red ball version in a bid to concentrate more on the white-ball formats.

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Mohammad Amir played only 36 Test matches in which he scalped 119 wickets. The talisman fast bowler had a sublime World Cup as he was the leading wicket-taker for Pakistan with 17 wickets in eight matches.

Mohammad Amir
Mohammad Amir. Credit: Getty Images

Amir was contemplating Test retirement for a long time.

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However, Mohammad Amir was contemplating Test retirement from almost a year. Thus, the Pakistan coach stated that it was always on the cards. Arthur stated that Amir had discussed the same with him.

“It was on the cards for a long while. Amir had been speaking to me about it with me for some time now. His Test career was taking a strain on his body. It’s not about management here. It’s about his desire to play Test cricket and the effects it has on his body,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Arthur as saying.

“I think Amir’s an unbelievable bowler and reluctantly I accepted his decision because that’s what he wanted to do and that’s what he thought was best for himself. What it does do is give us a white-ball bowler that I think we can get a longer period from,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Amir had to miss five years of international cricket after he was found guilty in the spot-fixing scandal in 2010. Arthur said that Amir could have managed those five years better but it was a difficult phase for him and thus it was not easy.

Mickey Arthur
Mickey Arthur. Credit: AFP

Those five years were difficult.

“He had five years out of the game, we mustn’t forget that. In those five years, he didn’t do anything. His body was not up to the rigours of day in, day out Test cricket. We pushed him as much as we could during England and South Africa series because he is such a good bowler whom we wanted during those tours. We’ve tried everything we possibly could with Amir,” Arthur said.

“He could have managed those five years better. He’d be the first one to acknowledge that. But I understand where he was in his whole life, so it was a tough period for him. I understand all that. I’ve got a very soft spot for Mohammad Amir. As a person and as a cricketer, I admire him greatly. Yes, I am disappointed he won’t be playing Test cricket for us. But it was made in the best interests of his white-ball cricket in mind,” he added.

Mohammad Amir is a fine bowler and he could have continued in the red ball version. However, Amir has decided to move away from the pristine form of the game to concentrate more on the white-ball formats. Amir has great skills to move the ball at high speed and he is going to be missed in Test cricket.