Mohammad Amir (L) and Waqar Younis(Getty Images)
Mohammad Amir (L) and Waqar Younis(Getty Images)

I'm glad Waqar felt bad, now he will know how much it hurts: Mohammad Amir

  • Mohammad Amir talked about the need to give players 'space' and the importance of putting an end to a scary environment in the Pakistan team.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 12:57 PM IST

A month after announcing retirement from cricket citing 'mental torture', Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir talked about the need to give players 'space' and the importance of putting an end to a scary environment in the Pakistan team.

"Give players some space and freedom. Put an end to this scary environment in the dressing room, these very players will win you matches," Amir told the media as per news agency PTI.

Amir had blamed current Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis for his sudden decision to quit international cricket. "The issue is not about performance I know I can make a strong comeback but it is about this mental torture they put you through," he said.

The 28-year-old said if the coaches are talking about performances, they should tell him why he was dropped the next day after taking 21 wickets in the Bangladesh Premier League. "If this is not a personal issue then what is it," he asked.

He also dismissed remarks by Misbah about his speed going down. "My speed went down because I was not fully fit and fatigued. When I went to the Lanka Premier League I was fresh and I bowled at 145KPH," he said.

Amir also took a dig at Misbah and Waqar saying he couldn't play with coaches with different mindsets.

"One coach says speed does not matter what is important is taking 20 wickets (Waqar made the remarks on Thursday when asked about the lack of speed of the bowlers in New Zealand) and the other coach says speed is important in international cricket (Misbah said this at his interaction). Who should we believe? First think what you want to say than try to teach Amir."

Both Misbah and Waqar reacted to Amir's comments after returning from New Zealand tour. The former Pakistan cricketers said the doors for Amir's comeback are not closed, however they were 'hurt' by his statements.

"It is unfortunate that he gave such a statement and the way he made the exit from (international) cricket. He is a wonderful cricketer and I always advocated his case before Najam Sethi (previous PCB chairman). I also talked to (national team) players when he staged a comeback in 2016 to welcome him back (after the 2010 spot-fixing scandal)," Waqar said in Lahore.

Waqar also said that he felt 'sad' after reading Amir's statements about him and insisted that the left-arm pacer was dropped for the New Zealand tour because of poor form and fitness. "He is in our plans and if he starts performing again he can be back in the team," he explained.

Asked about the remarks by the two coaches, Amir said: "I am glad he (Waqar) felt sad and bad because at least he will now realise how much someone's statement can hurt you like I felt when he made statements about my decision to retire from Test cricket. I didn't say anything wrong and I only spoke the truth, nothing else."

Amir said he faced mental torture after reading statements from Misbah and Waqar where they blamed him and said he let down the team for the defeat in Australia. "They also said that I didn't want to play Test cricket and his decision has nothing to do with managing workload. I was hurt by such comments and they caused me mental anguish," he said.

Amir said he was now being given lessons that he should go and play domestic cricket and get back his form and a place in the team. "I think a player knows what is best for him and where he should play domestic cricket or league cricket," he said.

The pacer, who was banned for match-fixing for five years, said no one needed to tutor him on having patience. "No one knows about patience better than me. Because for five years I was not permitted to touch the cricket ball. I waited for five years to resume playing cricket and when I didn't lose courage and patience then do you think I will do now just because I am not performing well," Amir said.

(With PTI inputs)

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