Pakistan left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Amir on Friday bid adieu to Test cricket with immediate effect, saying he wants to focus on white-ball cricket.
"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," Amir was quoted as saying in a statement of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
The 27-year-old said that he wants to be physically fit as he aims to feature in the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia.
"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," he said.
Amir further said that he has been thinking of retiring from the longest format for some time now. He added that with the ICC World Test Championship set to kick off shortly he wants to see young fast bowlers in the team.
"It has not been an easy decision to make and I have been thinking about this for some time. 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," Amir said.
The fast bowler also expressed gratitude to his teammates, opponents, and Pakistan cricket board for providing him with the opportunity to play red-ball cricket.
"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."
"I also want to thank the PCB for providing me with the opportunity to don the golden star on my chest. And, I am grateful to my coaches who have groomed me at various stages of my career."
PCB Managing Director Wasim Khan said that Amir's experience will be missed in the longest format. Wasim added that they respect his decision and wished him for the white-ball cricket.
"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," he said.
"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," Wasim said.
Amir made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in Galle in July 2009. He represented his country in 36 Tests, taking 119 wickets at an average of 30.47. His best bowling returns - six for 44 - came against West Indies in Kingston in April 2017.
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