Mohammad Amir has announced his retirement from Test cricket. The 27-year-old left-arm quick, however, has said he will continue playing white-ball cricket for Pakistan.
Amir brings his Test career to a close with 119 wickets at an average of 30.47. His Test career was split into two parts. He made his debut as a 17-year-old in July 2009 and played 14 Tests, picking up 51 wickets at 29.09, before being banned for five years for his role in the Lord's spot-fixing scandal. After his return in July 2016, he played 22 Tests, taking 68 wickets at 31.51.
Thank you PCB, our PM @ImranKhanPTI @wasimakramlive bhi @SAfridiOfficial bhi @waqyounis99 & @yousaf1788. Thank you and my fans for always supporting me and I hope you all will support my this decision also.see video link https://t.co/BbAYzPbncl— Mohammad Amir (@iamamirofficial) July 26, 2019
The retirement has come at a time of excellent returns across formats for Amir. Since the start of 2018, he has taken 24 wickets in six Tests at an average of 21.00, and in the recently concluded World Cup he was Pakistan's leading wicket-taker with 17 at 21.05.
Unlike other fast bowlers who have given up the longest format in their 20s, Amir has not suffered too many injury setbacks. But his workload has been a major talking point. In the time since his return, Amir has bowled the seventh-most overs in international cricket, across formats, among fast bowlers worldwide. Among Pakistan's fast bowlers, he has bowled 419 overs more than Hasan Ali in second place.
The physical toll led Amir to contemplate Test retirement last year, but he put that decision off, after coming to an agreement with Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur to manage his workload in order to extend his career.
"Cricket is different since 2010 and if you look back I have lost five precious years of my career," Amir told ESPNcricinfo then. "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."
Now Pakistan fans will only see him in the green ODI and T20I kit, and not the Test whites.
"It has been an honour to represent Pakistan in the pinnacle and traditional format of the game," Amir said in a statement. "I, however, have decided to move away from the longer version so I can concentrate on white ball cricket.
"Playing for Pakistan remains my ultimate desire and objective, and I will try my best to be in the best physical shape to contribute in the team's upcoming challenges, including next year's ICC T20 World Cup.
"It has not been an easy decision to make and I have been thinking about this for some time. But with the ICC World Test Championship commencing shortly, and Pakistan boasting some very exciting young fast bowlers, it is appropriate that I call on my time in Test cricket so that the selectors can plan accordingly.
"I want to thank all my team-mates as well the opponents in red ball cricket. It has been a privilege to play with and against them. I am sure our paths will continue to cross in limited-overs cricket as all of us play and compete with the same vigour and determination.
"I also want to thank the PCB for providing me the opportunity to don the golden star on my chest. And, I am grateful to my coaches who have groomed me at various stages of my career."
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent