Amir was set to retire two years ago: PCB MD

Left-arm pacer recently announced his retirement from Test cricket

Amir was set to retire two years ago: PCB MD PHOTO: AFP

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)'s Managing Director (MD) Wasim Khan has revealed that left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir had originally planned to retire from Test cricket two years ago.

While talking to reporters at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Khan said that timely intervention from Pakistan cricket team's Head Coach Mickey Arthur persuaded Amir to change his mind.

"Amir decided to quit Test cricket two years ago and discussed it with Mickey Arthur who had few sessions with him on this issue and eventually made him understand that it is not the right decision at this stage and Amir finally changed his mind," said Khan. "We are disappointed with his decision but we have to respect it as we cannot force him or any player to change his mind at a time when he is mentally not up for it.”

Amir on Friday announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect, but reaffirmed his commitment to playing white ball cricket for Pakistan.

Pakistan's Amir seeks British citizenship

The 48-year-old added that a player is the best judge to decide when to retire and how to preserve his energy to continue in a specific version of the game, knowing his body strength and most importantly his mental toughness.

"Amir knows about his body strength and future prospects in the game and I think this time he has made his mind after a thorough thought process to serve in only ODI and T20I games with a renewed zeal and determination," he said.

On a question regarding the Pakistan Super League (PSL), the PCB MD was confident that staging the entire PSL in Pakistan would serve as a gateway to bring international cricket back in the country.

“The matches of the next edition of the PSL, to be played at Lahore, Karachi, Multan and Rawalpindi, will restore the confidence of the foreign players and the teams in Pakistan and will portray a soft image of the country," he said.

The PCB official also said that prior to holding the PSL, Pakistan would be hosting two-Test series of the ICC Test Championship against Sri Lanka in September this year.

“I think this event will be a big step forward for persuading the foreign teams to visit Pakistan in near future,” he added.

Wasim Khan also broke the board’s silence regarding the scandal surrounding the Pakistan opener Imamul Haq.

"Imam has been repenting. And, he has apologised for what misconduct he has committed,” said the PCB official. “We have told him in clear terms about what standards PCB wants.”

Khan finally clarified that the PCB’s cricket committee will only review the performance of the coaching and backroom staff.

“We will not be recommending a new captain in the meeting, as there is no urgency since our next series is two months away,” he said. “However, we will review the performance of the coaches and backroom staff and will forward our recommendations to the PCB chairman.”