“It was on the cards”, says coach Arthur on Mohammad Amir’s retirement from Test cricket

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has said he is not surprised by fast bowler Mohammad Amir’s decision to retire from Test cricket as it was on the cards for a long while.

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“It was on the cards for a long while. 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,” Arthur told ESPNcricinfo.

He added, “I think Amir’s an unbelievable bowler and reluctantly I accepted his decision because that’s what he wanted to do and that’s what he thought was best for himself. What it does do is give us a white-ball bowler that I think we can get a longer period from.”

“He had five years out of the game, we mustn’t forget that. 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 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,” Arthur said.

‘Amir was retiring two years ago, but coach Arthur changed his mind’

“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. I’ve got a very soft spot for Mohammad Amir. As a person and as a cricketer, I admire him greatly. 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,” he added.

Amir, who is regarded as one of the best left-arm pacers after countryman Wasim Akram, announced his retirement from Test cricket last week but said he would continue to play ODIs and T20s for Pakistan.

“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,” Amir said in a statement.

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