Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has admitted that a Test retirement for Mohammad Amir had been on the cards since over a year.
Amir sprang a major surprise earlier this week when he announced his decision to walk away from Test cricket at the age of just 27 in order to prolong his white-ball career.
The left-armed pacer has struggled for fitness and a troublesome knee since making his return to international cricket in 2016 after a five-year suspension for spot-fixing.
“It was on the cards for a long while,” Arthur said about Amir’s retirement in an interview with ESPNcricinfo.
“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.
“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.”
Amir bows out of Test cricket with 119 wickets in 36 appearances with an average of just over 30. Arthur is now hoping that the pacer can become even a more potent asset for Pakistan in the shorter formats of the game.
“We get a white-ball bowler who’s going to be rejuvenated, refreshed, and with a T20 World Cup just around the corner, in 18 months’ time we’ve got a potential match-winner because we know he performs on the big stage,” said Arthur.
“Like every other player who plays for Pakistan, he’s going to need to put in match-winning performances.
“But he’ll certainly get the opportunity to do that, and he will start in our white-ball cricket.”
Amir had recently finished as Pakistan’s highest wicket-taker in the 2019 ICC Word Cup in England with the southpaw picking up 17 scalps in eight matches.
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