Arthur says Amir’s Test retirement was on the cards

Arthur says Amir's Test retirement was on the cards

Pakistan team’s head coach, Mickey Arthur revealed that Mohammad Amir used to discuss his plans about his Test career and his retirement was expected for quite some time now.

Amir announced his retirement from Test cricket on Friday and it took the cricketing world by storm, however, Arthur was not surprised with this decision.

“It was on the cards for a long while,” Arthur said to 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.”

The head coach is disappointed with the decision, but he accepted the left-arm pacer’s call to quit red-ball cricket while continue to play with white-ball for Pakistan.

“I’ve got a very soft spot for Mohammad Amir. As a person and as a cricketer, I admire him greatly,” he said. “Yes, I am disappointed he won’t be playing Test cricket for us. But it was made in the best interests of his white-ball cricket in mind.”

Arthur believes that those five years away from cricket due to spot-fixing ban, took a toil at Amir, had he handled himself better during the span, he would have been an even better performer and could have prolonged his Test career as well.

“He had five years out of the game, we mustn’t forget that,” he said. In those five years, he didn’t do anything. His body was not up to the rigours of day in, day out Test cricket. We pushed him as much as we could during the England and South Africa series, because he is such a good bowler whom we wanted during those tours. We’ve tried everything we possibly could with Amir,” he said. “He could have managed those five years better. He’d be the first one to acknowledge that. But I understand where he was in his whole life, so it was a tough period for him. I understand all that.”

The head coach is still confident of his ace fast bowler’s ability and believes that he can be an integral part of Pakistan during the upcoming edition of World T20, which is 18 months away at the moment.