Shoaib Akhtar has asked Mohammad Amir to learn a thing or two from Mohammad Hafeez and how he has been able to score runs and make his way to the side despite his run-ins with the management. He added that it is about time when Amir grows up and comes out of the shadows of Mickey Arthur.
The frequent run-ins between Mohammad Amir and Pakistan's team management has been out in the public domain in the last few years. Mohammad Amir has never shied away from slamming the way he was handled by Pakistan's team management that prompted him to call it quits from international cricket for the country far earlier than expected.
Not only Amir but Mohammad Hafeez also has had his share of ups and downs with the management but he has been a regular feature in the shortest format. In the last two years, the 40-years-old has been Pakistan's third-highest run-getter in T20 internationals, while his strike rate (143.28) has been never better than the top two batters. Akhtar, citing the example of Hafeez, asked Amir to learn how to perform from the senior batsman and turn around his fortunes.
"The management was also against Hafeez. But he just made runs and nothing else. He didn't give the management an envelope full of cash. Amir should learn that from Hafeez," Akhtar told PTV, reported TOI.
Akhtar also reckons that the left-arm paceman needs to realize there's no longer Mickey Arthur to safeguard him and he has to be mature enough to understand that management won't act according to him.
"Amir should have realized that 'papa' Mickey Arthur will not always be there to safeguard him and he has to now grow up. You must be matured enough to realise that the management is not going to act according to my wishes. Therefore now I have to raise my performance and level of hard work," he said.
Mohammad Amir, post the 2017 Champions Trophy win, had struggled to perform well. He could only take 26 wickets in 25 ODIs at an average of 34.30. Akhtar further opined that Amir's performances deteriorated over time.
"This is a favor the PCB did for Amir. To his credit, Amir won some crucial matches for Pakistan in the Champions Trophy which included the final but after that his performances deteriorated."
One of the fastest bowlers during his heydays, Akhtar also noted that the team's head coach Misbah was right in his assessment that Amir's pace has gone down. He feels that the team management gave him ample chances and there was nothing wrong with the way they dealt with Amir.
"Misbah is right when he says that Amir's pace has gone down. There is nothing wrong with that assessment," he said.
"I don't think the team management was unfair with Amir. They gave him ample chances before he was dropped from the team. When you have pace and fitness then, you know, you will be in the team regardless and your focus is completely different."