The 27-year-old released a statement through the Pakistan Cricket Board, stating his desire to concentrate on white-ball cricket. He will continue to be available for selection in one-day internationals and Twenty20 Internationals, and said his immediate goal was to be in the “best physical shape” for next year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
“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," he said in the statement.
“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.
Amir has played 36 Tests since making his debut as a 17-year-old in 2009, taking 119 wickets at 30.47. However, he missed a large chunk of the last decade after being banned for five years for his part in the Lord’s fixing scandal of 2011.
He returned in 2016 to continue his career, the highlight of his time since being his role in helping the side win the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.
Wasim Khan, the PCB managing director, lauded Amir for emerging from those difficult times a better cricketer and person. “Amir has been one of the most exciting and talented left-arm fast bowlers in Test cricket in recent times,” said Wasim. “He overcame adversity as a young cricketer and came back stronger not only as a cricketer but also as a better human being.
“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.”
Amir, however, felt that it was the right time to draw curtains on his Test career, with the ICC World Test Championship beginning next month and Pakistan’s rising stock of young, promising pacemen waiting in the wings.
“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,” he said.
“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.”