Pakistan paceman Mohammad Amir has announced his retirement from Test cricket aged just 27.
The left-armer returned to Pakistan’s Test side in 2015 having been handed a five-year ban for his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal in the series against England in 2010.
Amir also served half of a six-month prison sentence for the offence which involved bowling deliberate no balls.
He was Pakistan’s leading wicket-taker at the recent World Cup and is still committed to playing white-ball cricket for his country.
“It has been an honour to represent Pakistan in the pinnacle and traditional format of the game. I, however, have decided to move away from the longer version so I can concentrate on white ball cricket,” Amir said in a statement.
Amir was one of the brightest prospects in the game when his ban came in 2010 and he ends his career with just 36 Tests to his name.
In that time he took 119 wickets, including 24 in his last six Tests.
“It has not been an easy decision to make and I have been thinking about this for some time. But with the ICC World Test Championship commencing shortly, and Pakistan boasting some very exciting young fast bowlers, it is appropriate that I call on my time in Test cricket so that the selectors can plan accordingly,” Amir added.
“I want to thank all my team-mates as well as the opponents in red ball cricket. It has been a privilege to play with and against them. I am sure our paths will continue to cross in limited-overs cricket as all of us play and compete with the same vigour and determination.”
Pakistan Cricket Board managing director Wasim Khan said: “Amir has been one of the most exciting and talented left-arm fast bowlers in Test cricket in recent times.
“He overcame adversity as a young cricketer and came back stronger not only as a cricketer but also as a better human being. His skill, on the field, and his personality will be missed in the dressing room in the longer format. However, we respect his decision and look forward to him continuing to play an integral role in white ball cricket for Pakistan.”
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday announced that the Sri Lankan board will send a security team to the country in August to explore the possibility of a tour.
Pakistan has been forced to play most of its matches in the UAE since the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009. However, in the past few years efforts have been made to bring meaningful international cricket back to the country.
Pakistan has hosted Zimbabwe (ODIs and T20), a World XI team, Sri Lanka for one T20 and the West Indies (T20). Also, the final stages of the Pakistan Super League are now being held in the country, expediting the ‘normalisation’ process. The effort now is to have a full tour from a major team.
Announcing the decision on Twitter, the PCB stated: “The Sri Lanka Cricket board has assured PCB of sending a security team. A delegation of the Sri Lankan board will visit Pakistan in August. The finalised dates for the delegation’s arrival will be announced soon.”
Pakistan has been negotiating with Sri Lanka to host a two-match Test series in October in Pakistan.
Sri Lanka was targeted by extremists in April this year in a series of co-ordinated attacks that left more than 200 people dead.
Pakistan had a mixed 2019 World Cup, finishing on a high with four straight wins yet failing to qualify for the semi-finals due to an inferior net run rate.
The task ahead will get tougher for Sarfraz Ahmed’s team as a transition process begins with a change in structure a possibility.
From next month, the new Test Championship begins, meaning all bilateral series will have context. Here, we take a look at Pakistan’s fixtures according to the new Future Tour’s Programme until 2023.
October: Home series against Sri Lanka (Two Tests)
October-November: Away series in Australia (Two Tests and three T20Is)
December: Home series against Sri Lanka (Three ODIs and three T20Is)
January-February: Home series against Bangladesh (Two Tests and three T20Is)
July: Home series against the Netherlands (Three ODIs)
July-August: Home series against England (Three Tests)
August: Home series against Ireland (Two T20Is)
August-September: Home series against England (Three T20Is)
September: Asia Cup
October: Away series in South Africa (Three ODIs and three T20Is)
October-November: 2020 ICC World Twenty20
November-December: Home series in Zimbabwe (Three ODIs and three T20Is)
December 2020-January 2021: Away series in New Zealand (Two Tests and three T20Is)
January-February: Home series against South Africa (Two Tests and three T20Is)
April: Away series in Zimbabwe (Two Tests and three T20Is)
June: World Test Championship Final
July: Away series in England (Three ODIs and three T20Is)
July-August: Away series in the West Indies (Three Tests and three T20Is)
September: Away series against Afghanistan (Three ODIs)
October: Home series against New Zealand (Three ODIs and three T20Is)
October-November: 2021 ICC World Twenty20
November-December: Away series in Bangladesh (Two Tests and three T20Is)
December: Home series against the West Indies (Three ODIs and three T20Is)
February-March: Home series against Australia (Two Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is)
July-August: Away series in Sri Lanka (Two Tests and three ODIs)
September: Asia Cup
October: Home series against England (Five ODIs)
October-November: Home series against New Zealand (Two Tests and three ODIs)
December: Home series against England (Three Tests)
February-March: 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup