Mohammad Amir addresses his retirement issue in YouTube video. Photo: Mohammad Amir YouTube account
Left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Amir has lashed out at the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) management in his latest YouTube video, calling for the need to end the “boss culture” allegedly prevalent in the Pakistan cricket team.
“This is not an emotional decision. I took this step after putting much thought into it,” said Amir in a video message uploaded on his YouTube account.
Amir recently announced he wishes to retire due to “torture” and an environment created by the Pakistan team management that is “pushing him away”.
Amir said that his tiff with the PCB began when the fast bowler announced last year that he was retiring from Test cricket.
“[Coach] Mickey knew at that time I was retiring from cricket and nobody had any reservations over it,” said Amir, adding that he had taken the decision to call it quits on Test cricket as his body could not take the workload.
The Galle Gladiators fast bowler said the current team management, especially Waqar Younis, had been “putting people under the impression” that Amir had quit Test cricket because he wanted to play for different leagues and not the country.
The fast bowler said that certain people in the cricket team’s management were “trying to ruin his image” by saying that he preferred to play for different leagues as opposed to the national team because they paid him well.
He said that until recently, the PCB allowed its cricketers to only play two leagues. “Only recently have they started issuing three NOCs and allowed cricketers to play in three leagues,” he said.
Amir said that he had been tolerating taunts by certain teammates for his involvement in the infamous spot-fixing scandal of 2010. “See, not everyone has [the same] guts as I have. If I made a mistake, I came clean in front of everyone and apologised for it as well and faced this issue,” he said.
‘I am not weak otherwise I would never have come back after 2010’
Amir said that he was “not weak” and if that had been the case, he would have never made a comeback after the 2010 spot-fixing scandal and would have quit playing then.
“However, I came back and with Allah’s help, bowled a very good spell at the Asia Cup and then became the first bowler to take a hat trick in the PSL. I also helped Pakistan win the ICC Champions Trophy 2017,” he said, recounting his achievements for the national team.
Hitting out at certain cricket commentators who have spoken about Mohammad Amir, the fast bowler said he was part of the Pakistan T20 cricket team that had secured the number 1 ranking for the past two years.
“I was a part of that team,” he said. “I did not want to recount my achievements like this but this is for those who appear on TV or question my performance on their YouTube channels,” added the bowler.
Amir categorically denied having any problems with PCB CEO Wasim Khan or the board’s chairman Ehsan Mani. “I have reservations with the current team’s management that wants to pressurise players,” he said. “This ‘yes boss, yes boss’ (culture) cannot be allowed to go on,” he added.
“This boss culture has to end from cricket. Give respect, take respect. In today’s world, everyone wants to be treated with respect,” he added.
‘Got to know through social media I had been dropped from the team’
The left-arm pacer asked detractors what they expected him to do, if not play for leagues, when they did not select him for the national team.
The fast bowler said that when not selected for the national team, every player tries to perform in cricket leagues so he can make a comeback.
“How did Haris Rauf get into the national team? He performed in The Big Bash League against the top players of the team and hence was selected for the national team,” said Amir.
Amir said that he was hurt when the PCB management didn’t even bother telling him that he hadn’t made it to the 35-player squad for the New Zealand tour.
“If I wanted to play for leagues, I wouldn’t have spoken out against it [being left out of the team] on Twitter, but I did,” he said.
Amir said that if the management “did not want to get personal” they would have spoken to him about his exclusion from the team. He said that it was high time that the alleged culture of “silence” and not speaking out against atrocities by the management should end.
Amir thanked former Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi and former PCB chairman Najam Sethi for supporting his return to cricket. “The entire team was on one side and did not want to play with me but Shahid bhai said, ‘Amir will play come whatever may’. I will always be thankful to these two always for their support,” he said.
The left-arm fast bowler said he never understood why some people had a problem when he was available to play for two formats of the game.
“There are many players in the team who play only one format. They [team management] never had [any issues] with them and I never understood why. I was always available for two formats,” he said.
Concluding his statement, Amir said that cricket meant everything to him hence leaving it was a very difficult decision.
Amir said that he had decided to leave the game as he wanted the “yes boss” culture to end.
“Maybe this decision of mine will help these people, who ruin the system of cricket in Pakistan, learn a lesson,” said the left-arm pacer.