Pakistani bowling coach Waqar Younis on Tuesday said he moved away from the snub caused by Mohammad Amir’s retirement from the test last year and sees the pacemaker as a crucial part of the national team’s plans for the future.
Having initially retired due to the birth of his second child, Amir made himself available for next month’s T20 series against England on Monday. Waqar greeted him again and spoke of his anger over Amir’s Test’s retirement ahead of a tour of Australia last year.
“Amir is always part of our plans for the future because he is experienced. We want to use him if he is up to it if he can win matches for Pakistan. Next year we will have the World Cup,” Waqar said in an online post interaction with the media.
“It hurt him then when he decided to retire from the cricket test, but we have to move forward and do what is best for the country,” he added.
Waqar defended the decision to call in Amir to join the England squad to replace Haris Rauf.
“We called Amir because he’s part of our white-ball cricket plans. What if we thought this was the perfect opportunity to assess all of our bowlers in the future. It’s not about this series but also future engagements, including upcoming World Cups,” Waqar said in an online media interaction.
“We want to see how he plays bowling because we want to get a fair idea of which bowlers to move forward and assess them all,” he added.
Pakistan will face England in a Test and T20 series next month.
Waqar admitted that he and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq were upset when Amir announced his sudden retirement from Test cricket last year as both felt he was required for the tour in Australia.
“We weren’t happy, but bringing him back, I think, is a positive move. The young bowlers will learn from him. We’re clear in our mind that no bowler is essential for the team.
“But I think his presence will help in the competition among the rhythm players at training camp in England,” he added.
Waqar said Pakistan is currently facing a fortunate problem of abundant fast bowling.
“I can tell you that whenever there is a healthy competition between bowlers to do well on any team, it is a blessing in disguise for that team. I see that same culture developing on the team. Pakistani now,” he said.
“It’s a blessing for us to have so many rhythm players to choose from. But in the end, we will prioritize those who do well,” he added.
Waqar also dismissed suggestions that it was difficult for a fast bowler to compete in all formats given the workload.
“I look that way if a bowler is fit, strong, and likes to take wickets. He can play all the time. But I guess that’s an individual decision,” he said.