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Pakistan cricket head coach Mickey Arthur says Mohammad Amir’s decision to retire from Test cricket didn’t came as a surprise for him, as Arthur revealed that Test cricket was taking a toll on Amir.

“It was on the cards for a long while,” Arthur told ESPNcricinfo. "Amir had been speaking to me about it with me for some time now. His Test career was taking a strain on his body. It's not about management here. It's about his desire to play Test cricket and the effects it has on his body.

“I think Amir's an unbelievable bowler and reluctantly I accepted his decision because that's what he wanted to do and that's what he thought was best for himself. What it does do is give us a white-ball bowler that I think we can get a longer period from.”

The head coach said that the period of five years during which he was out of playing cricket, due to the infamous 2010 spot fixing scandal took a toll on the fast bowler, who if have managed himself better during that time could have emerged as an even better performer.

“He had five years out of the game, we mustn’t forget that… In those five years, he didn’t do anything. His body was not up to the rigours of day in, day out Test cricket. We pushed him as much as we could during the England and South Africa series, because he is such a good bowler whom we wanted during those tours. We’ve tried everything we possibly could with Amir,” said Arthur.

“He could have managed those five years better. He’d be the first one to acknowledge that. But I understand where he was in his whole life, so it was a tough period for him. I understand all that.”

Just days ago, the country’s bowling spearhead announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect. The fast bowler would, however, be available for his side in the limited overs cricket.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019