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We’ve always respected Amir, he should have focused on his form and performances, says Misbah

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Mohammad Amir retired from international cricket in December last year, citing mental torture from the Pakistan coaching set-up. Head coach, Misbah-ul-Haq has clarified that the left arm pacer was dropped from the international side due to his declining performances and the team could no longer just bank on his past exploits.

“I never said that I would not play ODIs and T20Is for Pakistan just because of T20 leagues, these members of PCB management kept on saying that I left Tests for T20 leagues and this proved crucial in destroying my image and people started talking about it,” Amir told on his YouTube channel.

“I am not weak, if I was I would have never been able to make a comeback after 2010. I do not have issues with Wasim Khan and Ehsan Mani, I just have a problem with the current PCB management who is dealing with the players,” he said.

Misbah has stated that Amir did not put in encouraging performances to be selected in the squad that toured New Zealand.

 “Mohammad Amir has his own opinions. I’ve always respected players. I was captain when he came back to international cricket in 2016. I kept everything aside and supported him. As a coach also I’ve supported him,” Misbah said.

“I remember before England tour he had a personal problem. I tried everything to convince him. He didn’t travel to England but messaged me later. We recalled him because we needed senior bowlers. He got injured and his form went down as well. We wanted to play youngsters against Zimbabwe. He came back from injury and when he played his performance wasn’t good. He wasn’t at his best. He wasn’t able to get into the Northern side. The other bowlers were performing well there.”

Mohammad Amir retired from Test cricket in July 2019 to focus on white-ball cricket. This decision was slammed by then Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis who was keen on having Amir’s services for the Australian tour.

“Waqar and I spoke to him. We expect him to go full throttle for four overs in T20Is. If you can’t do that, with your pace which has come down from 87-88 mph to 80-81 mph, it will be difficult for the team to perform. Shaheen, Naseem and Hasnain are performing and you have to compete against them. It can’t be like just because you are senior bowler, you get performance. Amir hasn’t reached his peak form. Nothing personal,” said Misbah.

“Waqar never had anything to do with his exclusion. There were six people – the selectors, the captain – no one wanted to support him. We’ve always respected him and he should have gone and focussed on his form and performances,” he added.

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I’ll welcome Amir if he wants to come back: Misbah

Misbah stated that he would welcome back Amir in the squad if he comes out of his retirement and if he is willing to improve his performances.

“We weren’t playing ODI cricket. Your previous performances matter but also your current form. If we go by previous performances, no player will go out of the team,” he said.

“The other bowlers were performing better. Amir played in the same tournament and yet Haris and Shaheen were on top of the table. I am not disrespecting him. He’s a quality bowler. I’ll welcome him back if he wants to come back. I’ve always respected his decision. It’s his personal decision. As a senior player, you have to lead the team. You can’t be in surviving mode,” he concluded.