Aamir quits Test cricket, will continue limited-overs career

Pakistan’s tarnished left-arm pacer Muhammad Aamir retired from Test cricket on Friday but affirmed his commitment to continue playing limited-overs for his country.

Convicted in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal in England, the 27-year-old has been indicating for some time now that he wanted to quit playing Test cricket and focus on ODIs and T20s.

In a statement issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board, Aamir said: “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.”

Aamir, who played 36 Tests for his 119 wickets, has also appeared in 59 ODIs and 49 T20 internationals. In the recent World Cup in England, he ended with 15 wickets.

In a recent interview, Aamir had said that he was a human being and not a machine while referring to the non-stop cricket he played since returning to the Pakistan team after the end of his five-year ban for spot-fixing in 2015.

He had also served jail time at a Young Offenders Institution in England for his role in the scandal that shook the core of Pakistan cricket. He was 18 at the time.

Last year, he had informed head coach Mickey Arthur about his intentions but was told to carry on till the World Cup.

“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,” he said.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

PCB’s Managing Director, Wasim Khan said Aamir has been one of the most exciting and talented left-arm fast bowlers in Test cricket in recent times.

“He overcame adversity as a young cricketer and came back stronger not only as a cricketer but also as a better human being. His skill, on the field, and his personality will be missed in the dressing room in the longer format,” he said.

“However, we respect his decision and look forward to him continuing to play an integral role in white ball cricket for Pakistan,” he added.

Amir made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in Galle in July 2009. Before Aamir, Pakistani stalwarts, Muhammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik have also announced retirements from Test cricket.