Pacer Mohammad Amir has held the Pakistan team management responsible for his decision to quit international cricket at 28 and slammed coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis for “spoiling” his image.
Speaking on his official Youtube channel, left-arm pacer Amir made it clear that his problem was with Misbah and Younis.
“These people have been trying to slowly poison people’s minds by saying that I didn’t want to play Test cricket and only wanted to play in T20 leagues to earn money. They built a narrative that I had let down the team despite all the investment in me,” Amir said.
“They have tried to spoil my image and it takes a lot of hard work to build your image.”
“It was a very hard decision for me but I think the time has come when one shouldn’t keep quiet. I took this decision to raise this issue and let people know what is happening.”
Amir said that he had made himself available for the two while ball formats after retiring from Test cricket but since last year, when the current management took over, they had been ignoring him despite good performances.
“Obviously I was very hurt when they didn’t select me even in 35 players for New Zealand. If I only cared about playing in leagues then I would not feel bad at being dropped for the New Zealand tour nor would I have reacted,” he stated.
Amir said the biggest problem with the current team management is that every time he was sidelined, he learnt about it through social media.
“They say they have nothing personal against me, but they didn’t have the courtesy to tell me directly as a senior player that they were dropping me or whether they had me in their plans. This is the way things are done.”
Amir said he had been “tolerating the negative narrative” against him from the management since last year.
“What performances do they talk about…Since I came back I had a PSL hat trick, I bowled well in the Asia Cup and Champions Trophy, I was the highest wicket-taker in last year’s World Cup despite playing with a shoulder problem.
“I am still in the ICC bowlers rankings. I have given performances in leagues. What more can I do?” Amir also hit back at his critics for reminding him of his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, saying he has paid for his mistake.
“Yes, I know that and I apologized for my actions to everyone. I also faced the consequences of my action. But I am not weak. I came back and faced everyone and I just tried to do my best for Pakistan.”
The player said he was surprised at how some people could be “judgmental” about his retirement from Test cricket “without knowing anything” about him.
“When did I say I would prefer playing in leagues instead of playing for Pakistan. But when you are not being selected in the national team what else can I do except go and play in leagues and prove myself to everyone.”
Amir made it clear he could not have played with the current management or system in place.
“I have my self respect and I can’t compromise on that. I believe in giving respect, getting respect.”