Amir's Test retirement was on the cards: Pak coach

Lahore, July 30 (IANS) Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur is not surprised by pacer Mohammed Amir's decision to retire from Test cricket, saying it was on the cards for a long while.

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

"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.

"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 added.

The left-arm pacer had missed five years of international cricket as he was banned for five years for his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal in 2010 and this -- according to Arthur -- took a toll on Amir as he was not equipped for managing the workload.

"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.

"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.

On July 26, Amir announced his retirement from Test cricket, saying he wants to focus on white-ball cricket. However, his decision to retire from Test cricket at the age of 27 has not gone down well with many former Pakistan cricketers.

He represented Pakistan in 36 Tests, taking 119 wickets at an average of 30.47.

--IANS

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