ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former pace merchant Shoaib Akhtar wants incumbent fast bowler Mohammad Amir to reconsider his decision of retirement from Tests cricket and give his best for Pakistan like he performed for the English County side Essex.
Left-arm Amir, playing his final first-class game, finished with figures of 6 for 64 in a winning cause for Essex against Kent in Canterbury, and he looked as lethal as he ever had, generating enough pace and swing.
His top bowling display had made critics question his decision to quit playing Tests for Pakistan at a tender age of 27.
However, Shoaib said Amir’s rich vein of form probably has to do with the conditions in England but urged the southpaw to still revisit his decision.
“Is the management in England better? Or are the wickets better there? Is Amir being handled better there that he is taking wickets? All of this is true, and also there is no pressure on Amir there. Still, I think Amir should have given the same performances for Pakistan,” Shoaib said in a YouTube video.
Shoaib further said said boards must devise a system to prevent young cricketers from leaving Test cricket. “There must be a system that a cricketer on whom the board has invested heavily should not even be able to consider retirement for the first five-six years of their career,” he said.
“People’s concern is genuine. Amir should reconsider his retirement decision and must play Tests for Pakistan.”
The Rawalpindi Express also reminded Amir that a player is remembered by the performance he produces for his country, not for county. “Legacies are built on what you do for your country. No one remembers what you do in counties.”
He was of the view that people would always remember the 1999 Kolkata Test in which he completely changed the complexion of the game with consecutive late-swinging yorkers that sent Rahul Dravid and Tendulkar on their way.
“Similarly Wasim Akram’s 1992 [World Cup final] spell, and also his show in England Tests the same year. Sachin Tendulkar’s innings in Tests will also be never forgotten,” said Shoaib.
Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2019