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Amir accuses PCB of ‘mental torture’, quits international cricket

Controversial Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir on Thursday announced retirement from international cricket in protest over the “shabby” treatment he said he received from management.

The 28-year-old, who had already retired from Tests, was not selected in a large 35-member squad for the New Zealand series last month and was also overlooked for the home series against Zimbabwe.

“I don’t want to play international cricket anymore,” Amir, who has previously been banned for match fixing, said. “I was always available for white ball cricket but I have had shabby treatment from the team management who have mentally tortured me, and that’s unacceptable.”

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed Amir’s decision.

“PCB chief executive Wasim Khan spoke with Amir this afternoon who confirmed that he has no desires or intensions of playing international cricket and, as such, he should not be considered for future international matches,” a PCB release said. “This is a personal decision of Amir, which the PCB respects.”

Amir angered head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis with his abrupt decision to retire from Test cricket in July last year. Younis accused Amir of “ditching Pakistan” while continuing to play league cricket to earn money.

“I know my body better than anyone and that decision was primarily taken to save my body,” Amir protested.

Amir rose to international fame in 2010 as a young left-arm paceman. Legendary Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram described him as “the most talented fast bowler”.

But Amir’s career hit a roadblock when he was banned for five years in a spot-fixing case. He was caught, along then Test captain Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, by a sting operation into the orchestration of deliberate no-balls in return for money in a Lord’s Test against England in 2010.

Of the three, only Amir returned to international cricket in 2016. A year later he helped Pakistan win the Champions Trophy with three wickets in the final against arch rivals India.

He was Pakistan’s best bowler with 17 wickets in last year’s World Cup. Amir took 119 wickets in 36 Tests while his tally in 61 one-day internationals is 81 and 59 in 50 Twenty20 internationals.


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