Mohammad Amir on Friday announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect, but reaffirmed his commitment to playing white ball cricket for Pakistan.
In a statement shared by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Amir 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."
The cricketer also shared a video on YouTube in which he explained his decision to the fans and cited the five-year gap in playing cricket due to the ban for spot-fixing as the main reason.
“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," said the fast bowler — who earned praise for his performance in the recently concluded ICC World Cup 2019 — in the statement.
The 27-year-old cricketer shared that he was considering retirement from the format "for some time", adding that it "has not been an easy decision to make".
"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."
Amir also thanked the PCB for providing him "the opportunity to don the golden star on my chest".
"I am grateful to my coaches who have groomed me at various stages of my career,” said the bowler.
Amir made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in Galle in July 2009. He featured in 36 Tests, taking 119 wickets at an average of 30.47. His best bowling returns — six for 44 — were against the West Indies in Kingston in April 2017.
In a statement issued by the board, PCB Managing Director Wasim Khan said: “Amir 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. However, we respect his decision and look forward to him continuing to play an integral role in white ball cricket for Pakistan.”