Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Pakistan left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir has come to an agreement in principle with head coach Mickey Arthur to cut down on the number of Test matches he plays in order to prolong his international career.
Amir has been a regular face in Pakistan’s team in all three formats since he made his comeback from a five-year ban for spot-fixing in 2016.
Since making his return, Amir has bowled the most overs out of all Pakistan bowlers with 864.3. The number of overs he has bowled is also the sixth-highest among all pace bowlers.
Given the toll this has taken on his body, Amir told ESPNcricinfo that it is necessary for him to manage his workload going forward in order to ensure he doesn’t succumb to injuries and spend more time on the sidelines.
“Cricket is different since 2010 and if you look back I have lost five precious years of my career,” Amir said. “Just imagine had I played in all those years, the count could have been 70-80 Tests.
“I can’t roll back that lost time but I can manage my workload to extend my career as much as I can. With every passing day I’m getting older and I know fans want me to play. But if you look rationally I’m human and not an iron man.
“My passion is still there and I want to be there for fans, serving the country for a long time. I have played 30 Tests so far. I think in the next few years I might miss a few and possibly I might end up with 50 Tests.
“I came to agreement with Mickey and with so much cricket we need to follow a rotation policy so that everyone is fresh and fully fit for the country. His planning ahead of the 2019 World Cup is working very well. I didn’t say I don’t want to play Test cricket but that I want to weave myself in, resting for a few and playing the important games.
“This is being done by Australia and England, so why not us? We have so many potential bowlers around and all need to be played it’s not like I will stay forever but whatever time I have I would rather stay with greater impact.”
Lately, Amir has started exhibiting signs of breaking down as he suffered a shin injury during the Test series against Sri Lanka last year. He was also diagnosed with a side strain during the recently concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL).
With that in mind, Amir is intent on taking care of his body and ensuring that he steers clear of injuries in the future.
“At the end of the day it all comes down to you individually,” he said. “You know your body very well and you know how much your body can sustain.
“Sometimes people don’t realise that bowlers need rest and when you go out with injury, if it’s a serious one then you have no future. You fade away and people forget. I have seen many examples in our system, of players who have come and gone.
“With so much cricket going on I have be very careful with my body. I have lost enough in my life and this is my profession, I need to be very careful going forward. Fitness is everything and for a fast bowler it’s really tough for me to play everything. A good impactful performance comes with a fitter body and with a fresh state of mind.”