Pakistan’s left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir has announced his retirement from Test cricket in a bid to concentrate on his white-ball future. “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 said in a statement on Friday (July 26). Amir, who made his Test debut as a 17-year-old in Sri Lanka in 2009, walks away from the format after having picked 119 wickets in the 36 games he’s played. The 27-year-old has taken the big step with a view on keeping himself fit and ready for next year’s World T20. “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 entered the Test fray as a prodigious fast bowler, but an involvement in a spot-fixing scandal in 2010 put him out of the game for a five-year period when he served his suspension. Pakistan Cricket Board took an exception to his case and eased him back to the national fold. Coincidentally, his comeback game was at the same venue – Lord’s – where he played the game in which he was found guilty of partaking in spot-fixing alongside his then captain Salman Butt and fellow fast bowler Mohammad Asif. Amir played 22 of his 36 Tests since his comeback in 2016, picking up 68 wickets and achieving his career-best figures of 6 for 44 against West Indies in Jamaica. Amir decided against extending this run well into the upcoming Test championship as he feels the need to clear the deck for other upcoming pacers in Pakistan. “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.” PCB managing director Wasim Khan lauded the fast bowler for his contributions to the team in Tests, as well as his character in making a strong comeback from the setback in 2010. “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. His skill, on the field, and his personality will be missed in the dressing room in the longer format,” Wasim Khan said. “However, we respect his decision and look forward to him continuing to play an integral role in white-ball cricket for Pakistan,” he added.