Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Mickey Arthur admitted that Pakistan left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir had been thinking about retiring from Test cricket for more than a year.
Arthur’s revelation comes after Amir retired from Test cricket on Friday in order to focus on his limited overs career.
Arthur, who is currently waiting to see whether he will be retained as Pakistan’s head coach, revealed that the management tried to reduce Amir’s workload over the past year and even experimented with having him only bowl overseas.
But, with Amir having made his decision, Arthur has no choice but to accept it.
However, he now hopes that Amir performs much better in limited overs cricket and maintain the red-hot form he showed at the World Cup, where he took 17 wickets in eight matches at an average of 21.05.
“It was on the cards for a long while,” Arthur told 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.
“Of course there was [a possibility Amir would only play away]. We managed him through the South African series. He didn’t play any Test cricket during the UAE last year. That was part of his management, and we started putting that in place because we wanted him for the South African series.
“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. 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.”