In a shocking development, Mohammad Amir, Pakistan's leading left-arm pace bowler has announced his retirement from Test cricket. He will continue to represent Pakistan in limited-overs cricket, as per a release by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
The statement from the fast bowler read: "It has been an honour to represent Pakistan in the pinnacle and traditional format of the game. 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."
Amir, who made his debut in 2009 against Sri Lanka, at an official age of 17, impressed everyone with his clearly-visible talent and ability. He was compared to Wasim Akram and some even said that he was ahead of where Akram was at his age. Terrific performances in Australia and England propelled Amir to the status of the most talented young cricketer in the World.
However, it all came crashing down when he, along with the then captain Salman Butt and pacer Mohammad Asif, was caught indulging in spot-fixing during a Test against England at Lord's in 2010. Subsequently, all three players were banned for life but Amir got a respite due to his young age and was allowed to return to the international circuit.
Though he couldn't replicate the form he showed in the first part of his career into his second stint in the Test team, there were still some memorable spells that the young left-armer delivered in ODIs and T20Is. However, his ODI form suffered in 2018 and 2019 and he wasn't picked in the original squad for the World Cup.
But then, he was included at the last moment in the 15-men squad and ended up proving to be Pakistan's best bowler in the tournament. This performance seems to have convinced him that white-ball cricket is the way to go.
"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," Amir added in his statement.
The left-arm pacer ends his Test career with 36 Tests and 119 wickets at an average of 30.47 and strike rate of 64. His in-progress ODI career has seen 77 wickets in 59 matches at an average of 30.24 and strike rate of 37.8. The corresponding stats in T20Is are 42 matches, 55 wickets, average of 19.38 and strike rate of 17.0.