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Amir likely to be rested for Zimbabwe series

Mohammad Amir feels his shoulder after pulling up in pain, England v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Headingley, June 3, 2018 Getty Images

Mohammad Amir is likely to be rested from at least one portion of Pakistan's upcoming tour of Zimbabwe. ESPNcricinfo understands the fast bowler asked to be rested after the tour of Ireland, England and Scotland. It is possible he may miss the entire trip in a bid to be fresh ahead of a busy winter season that starts with the Asia Cup, followed by series against Australia and New Zealand in the UAE.

Amir, it is believed, had requested to be rested from the entire tour of Zimbabwe, which includes a T20 tri-series as well as a bilateral ODI series. The selection committee is willing to allow Amir some time off, as he has previously asked for his workload to be managed. Just before the UK tour, Amir had contemplated lessening his Test burden in a bid to prolong an international career in which he plays all three formats.

Pakistan are set to play back-to-back series in Zimbabwe - first the T20 tri-nation event with Australia, followed by a five-match ODI series against the hosts. With the series arguably less challenging than the ones coming up in the UAE, it is likely the PCB will allow him some time off, to spend with his wife and young daughter. After the England tour, Amir stayed back in the UK to be with his UK-based wife. He is expected to return to Lahore on June 23 ahead of the final selection of the squad.

Amir, 26, lost five years of his international career after a spot-fixing ban in 2010, and he is now keen to manage his career to extend it as much as he can. By fast bowling standards, he has been fairly fortunate in avoiding serious injuries, though he did suffer a major stress fracture of the back during his Under-19 days.

He was rested for a Test during the 2016-17 home series against West Indies and also missed the World XI series in Lahore last year after his wife gave birth. But there have been signs lately of a heavy workload catching up with him. Against Sri Lanka in Dubai last year, he was forced out of a Test with a shin injury.

Then during the Test against Ireland in Malahide, knee issues hampered him. He was also seen struggling with a shoulder niggle at Headingley against England earlier this month, though his Test bowling through the tour was as well as he has bowled since his return.

The squad for Zimbabwe is expected to be announced on Saturday. The T20 tri-series begins on July 2, with the final scheduled for July 8.