Pakistan's recently appointed team director, Mohammad Hafeez, has shared insights into his discussions with former cricketers Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir.
Amir's abrupt retirement in 2020, at the age of 28, stunned cricket fans globally, as he opted to step away from a career that had seen both acclaim and controversy.
Hafeez disclosed that he personally spoke to Amir, encouraging him to engage in domestic cricket if he has the desire to represent Pakistan again.
“I called Mohammad Amir myself and said that if you want to play for Pakistan, you should take your retirement back and you should play domestic cricket.
If you perform well, you will be selected in the Pakistan team. Once you come into the team, I assure you that you will be given equal opportunities like others. However, he said that he has moved on in his life and his priorities have changed in life, which we have to respect,” Hafeez said.
During a media interaction earlier this year, Amir reiterated his retirement, stating his belief that it was time for the younger generation to come forward.
"I have retired now, how am I hopeful for my return? If I hadn't retired, I could have said that I am very hopeful, but now I have retired. Now I have grown old, and there are youngsters in the team," Amir had said.
In a surprising move last week, Wasim also announced his retirement from international cricket after an impressive eight-year career.
Hafeez revealed that he directly contacted Wasim, urging him to consider signing a central contract. However, after contemplating the offer, Wasim conveyed his unavailability for the New Zealand series to Hafeez and merely two days later, officially declared his retirement.
“I called Imad Wasim myself and said that he is in my plans for the Pakistan team and he should serve Pakistan cricket. I asked him for his availability and he said that he will think about it and will let me know. After two days, he messaged me saying that he was not available for the New Zealand series. After another two days, Imad Wasim announced his retirement,” Hafeez said.
“I acknowledge his services for Pakistan cricket and wish him well for the future,” he added.
It is worth mentioning that Wasim’s retirement came as a surprise to many as the left-handed all-rounder is still in great shape physically and featured in Pakistan’s last T20I series against New Zealand where he performed well.
He was also one of the best players in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Season 8 where the left-handed batter amassed 404 runs in 10 innings at an impressive 134.66 average and 170.46 strike rate while also taking nine wickets with the ball.
Earlier, former Pakistani captain Rashid Latif urged Wasim to reconsider his retirement decision saying that he is the best spinner in the country.
Rashid Latif, in his post on X, termed Imad as an effective player and urged Team Director Mohammad Hafeez to bring the all-rounder back.