Pacer Mohammad Amir on Thursday made a shocking decision as he announced his retirement from all forms of cricket at the young age of 28. Considered as one of the best emerging talents when he first burst onto the scene, Amir's short career was marred by controversies.
Amir was banned for five years, along with then skipper Salman Butt and fellow pacer Mohammad Asif, over his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal during the tour of England in 2010.
Lst year, he had decided to quit Test cricket to manage his workload, a decision which had raised quite a few eyebrows. Nonetheless, let's recall 5 magical spells bowled by Amir during his short stint in international cricket.
1. 5/79 against Australia (1st Test, MCG, December 2009)
Pakistan had a mountain to climb in the first Test of their 2009-10 Tour Down Under after Australia had posted a mammoth total of 454 on the board in the first innings. The Pakistan seamers had struggled, including Amir, who had gone wicketless in the first innings.
In reply, Pakistan could only stitch runs in their first innings conceding a healthy lead to the Aussies. However, keeping the deficit in mind, Amir troubled all the Australian top order batsmen dismissing skipper Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey in quick succession.
He then rounded off his spell by dismissing Michael Clarke, North, and Brad Haddin.
2. 7/106 against Australia (2nd Test, Headingley, July 2010)
Amir bowled one of the most unique spells in one of the most memorable matches. Pakistan took on Australia in the MCC Spirit of Cricket Test Series in July 2010. Interestingly, the match was played in Leeds, England.
It was a day to remember for the Pakistani quicks as Amir combined with Mohammad Asif to reduce the Australians to 29 for 4 in their first innings. Australia was bowled out for an embarrassing total of 89 before Pakistan scored 258 to take a healthy lead.
It was the same story in the second innings, as Amir dismissed Watson, Katich, Ponting, and Hussey to finish with figures of 4 for 86. Pakistan won the game comfortably and Amir was adjudged joint man of the match, alongside Shane Watson.
3. 4/28 against Sri Lanka (5th ODI, Premadasa Stadium, August 2009)
Amir stormed past the Sri Lankan top-order as the hosts were reduced to 74 for 8 in the fifth and final ODI. He dismissed Upul Tharanga, Mahela Jayawardene, Chamara Kapugedera, and Angelo Mathews to leave Sri Lanka in a difficult situation.
Pakistan won the game comfortably in the end as Amir ended with his then career-best ODI figures of 4 for 28 off 9 overs.
4. 3/16 against India (2017 ICC Champions Trophy Final, The Oval, June 2017)
Mohammad Amir's spell of 3 for 16 against India in the 2017 Champions Trophy final was one of the finest displays of fast bowling. Batting first, Pakistan went on to put a massive total of 338 with Fakhar Zaman top-scoring with a sublime 114.
Defending a total of 339, Amir and Hasan Ali's magical spells helped Pakistan lift the Champions Trophy for the first time in their history. Amir had paved the way for Pakistan after dismissing the top 3 of the Indian Team — Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Shikhar Dhawan.
5. 6/44 against West Indies, (1st Test, Sabina Park, April 2017)
Amir recorded his best bowling figures in an innings against West Indies in a winning cause during Pakistan's tour of the Caribbean in 2017. After winning the ODI and T20I series 3-1 and 2-1 respectively, Pakistan kicked off the Test series with a comfortable 7-wicket win in Jamaica.
Amir, in general, struggled on his return to Test cricket after his five-year ban for spot-fixing, but the best was yet to be seen from Amir. After storming past three of Windies’ top four, Amir then piled the misery on the tail to finish with 6/44.