Pakistan's Amir retires from internationals claiming 'mental torture'
LAHORE: Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir announced his retirement from international cricket at the age of 28 on Thursday, claiming he could no longer play in an atmosphere where he did not feel welcome in the national team.
Amir, who was jailed in 2011 for his part in a spot-fixing scandal, served three months in prison and a five-year ban from all forms of cricket before returning to the Pakistan squad in January 2016.
The left-arm bowler has since excelled in limited-overs cricket, helping Pakistan to the Champions Trophy title in 2017, but last month he was dropped from the squad to tour New Zealand.
Asked if he was leaving the sport altogether he said: "No, I'm not going away from cricket. If you have seen the atmosphere here and the way I've been sidelined, I got a wake-up call when I was not selected in the 35-man squad," Amir told Samaa TV.
"I don't think I can play cricket under this management. I think I should leave cricket this time. I am being tortured mentally. I don't think I can tolerate any more torture now.
"I've experienced a lot of torture from 2010 to 2015. I was away from the game and sentenced for my mistake. I'm being tortured again and again..."
Amir, who has 259 wickets across all formats, had retired from test cricket last year to focus on the white-ball game.
He was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers in last year's 50-overs World Cup in England with 17 wickets as they missed out on a semi-final spot.
Amir added that the only people who supported him were former captain Shahid Afridi and former PCB chairman Najam Sethi.
"Sethi and Shahid Afridi were the two people whom I will thank forever, both of them supported me at a tough time," he added.
"I returned after completing the sentence of five years, it's not like I returned after a year... The rest of the team said, 'We will not play with Mohammad Amir'."
The PCB said Amir had confirmed to chief executive Wasim Khan that he had "no desires or intentions of playing internationalcricket" and should therefore not be considered for selection.
"This is a personal decision of Mohammad Amir, which the PCB respects," it said in a statement.