‘He has moved on’: Hafeez reveals phone call with Amir over Pakistan return | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'He told me he has already moved on': Hafeez reveals he 'phone-called' Mohammad Amir for potential Pakistan comeback

Nov 29, 2023 11:58 AM IST

Mohammad Amir has not represented Pakistan since August 2020, even though speculations remained rife over a potential comeback.

The Pakistan cricketing setup underwent an overhaul following a disappointing ODI World Cup campaign, where the side finished fifth with five losses in nine games. Days after their elimination, Babar Azam stepped down as captain in all formats, with Shan Masood taking over the leadership role in Tests, while star pacer Shaheen Afridi succeeding in the shortest format. In addition, Mohammad Hafeez was also appointed as the team director and will travel in the capacity of head coach for Pakistan's upcoming 3-test tour to Australia.

Mohammad Amir of Pakistan during the 2019 World Cup(Popperfoto via Getty Images)
Mohammad Amir of Pakistan during the 2019 World Cup(Popperfoto via Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Hafeez addressed a press conference where he fielded questions from reporters over the recent developments in Pakistan cricket. Last week, Pakistan's all-rounder Imad Wasim – who had played in T20Is in April – announced a sudden retirement. Over the past few months, there had been calls for Imad's inclusion in the side. But while Imad put a curtain on his Pakistan comeback himself, the same couldn't be said for another star, Mohammad Amir.

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Amir did retire from international cricket in 2021 but speculations have been made over his potential comeback. It was believed that a change in PCB administration last December – with Ramiz Raja being sacked as chairman – would throw open the door for Amir's return. However, Amir's rather indifferent performances in the Pakistan Super League this year put a dampener on the same, and it now seems Amir's international career is finally over.

During the press conference, Hafeez revealed his conversation with Amir that indicates that the left-arm pacer has moved on from the idea of representing Pakistan again.

“I called Amir, I told that if he wanted to play for Pakistan, he has to first take his retirement back. ‘Go back to domestic cricket and perform. Then, the selection committee will assess your performances and select you. Once you return to Pakistan, I will assure that you will get equal opportunities’, I told him. He said he had already moved on. He believes his priorities has changed, his life has changed. And we have to respect his decision,” said Hafeez.

“He told me he feels better playing at international leagues. He does not want to start from the scratch again. That is his decision, and we have to respect that.”

Pakistan's Test series against Australia begins on December 14 with the first match at the Optus Stadium in Perth.

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