Amir says taking a break from cricket over ‘mental torture’ by current management

Amir says taking a break from cricket over ‘mental torture’ by current management

Fast bowler Mohammad Amir on Thursday announced a break from cricket, saying he was being “mentally tortured” by the management of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

He said that the current environment at the PCB and the way he was sidelined from the 35-member squad for the New Zealand tour was a “wake up call” for him.

“If I wasn’t in the plan for those 35 boys, then it is a wake-up call for me to see my future plan [and] how I have to carry on my cricket.

“The kind of environment that has been created, I don’t think I can play cricket under this management […] I am leaving cricket at this time,” he said.

Amir said he was being “tortured mentally”, adding that he did not think he could tolerate it anymore.

“I have seen a lot of torture between 2010 and 2015 when I was away from cricket, whatever happened and the punishment that I served,” he said.

The cricketer was referring to the infamous scandal in 2010 when he was implicated in allegations of spot-fixing for bowling two deliberate no-balls in return for payment as part of a betting scam in the Lord’s Test against England. He was subsequently questioned by Scotland Yard along with teammates Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt and pleaded guilty. He was convicted in November 2011 and banned from playing for five years.

“I am constantly tortured that the PCB invested a lot [in me] … I will give credit to two people who invested in me. First, I came back after serving five years of punishment, I did not come back in a year.

“[Former PCB chairman Najam] Sethi and Shahid Afridi, these two people helped me at the time. The rest of the team [said] they would not play with Mohammad Amir,” he added. “I will always thank these two people for supporting me in that tough time,” he said.

He said an environment had been created in which he was receiving “taunts on everything” and his personal decision to quit Test match cricket was being manipulated to suggest that “I do not want to play for the national team”.

“Why would anyone not want to play for his country?” he questioned.

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