LAHORE: Claiming to be ‘tortured mentally’ by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), fast bowler Mohammad Amir on Thursday called time on his international career at the age of 28. The Pakistan quick claimed he could no longer play in an atmosphere where he did not feel welcome in the national team. Amir featured in 36 Test matches, bagging 119 scalps, over the course of his career, after making his debut against Sri Lanka in 2009. He has also played 61 ODIs and 50 T20Is in his limited-overs career, taking 81 and 59 wickets respectively. He last played for Pakistan in the T20Is in England in August this year. Amir, who was jailed in 2011 for his part in a spot-fixing scandal, retired from Test cricket in 2019 to focus on white-ball cricket. He also served three months in prison and a five-year ban from all forms of cricket before returning to the Pakistan squad in January 2016. Following his comeback, he was never quite at that scintillating best in Test cricket but the left-arm bowler excelled in limited-overs cricket, helping Pakistan to the ICC Champions Trophy title in 2017. Malcontent between Amir and the PCB had been simmering since he was dropped from the squad to tour New Zealand last month. He said that there had been plenty of tacit intimation that he was not in the team’s plan, which forced him to arrive at this decision. “Right now I am leaving cricket. I am being mentally tortured. I don’t think, I will be able to handle this kind of torture because I have been tortured a lot from 2010 to 2015,” Amir said while speaking to a local news channel. He said an environment had been created in which he was receiving ‘taunts on everything’ and his personal decision to quit Test match cricket was being manipulated to suggest that he was not interested to play for the national team. “Why would anyone not want to play for his country?” he questioned. “My personal decision to leave Test cricket was taken in a wrong way. My Test retirement was attached to my desire of playing T20 leagues. I was wishing to invest everything in white-ball cricket for Pakistan. But every now and then someone or the other person came out with a statement. Our bowling coach came out and said, I ditched them, somebody says workload wasn’t properly handled,” he further added. Asked if he was leaving the sport altogether he said: “No, I’m not going away from cricket. If you have seen the atmosphere here and the way I’ve been sidelined, I got a wake-up call when I was not selected in the 35-man squad.” Amir added he cannot play cricket under the current team management. Amir was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers in last year’s 50-overs World Cup in England with 17 wickets as they missed out on a semi-final spot. Amir added that the only people who supported him were former captain Shahid Afridi and former PCB chairman Najam Sethi. “Sethi and Shahid Afridi were the two people whom I will thank forever, both of them supported me at a tough time,” he added. “I returned after completing the sentence of five years, it’s not like I returned after a year… The rest of the team said, ‘We will not play with Mohammad Amir’.” The bowler shot back at critics who have accused him of being ungrateful to the Pakistan Cricket Board that had invested a lot in him, adding that he hadn’t taken any shortcuts and served his sentence for being involved in the alleged spot-fixing scandal. The PCB in a statement on Thursday said that Amir had confirmed to chief executive officer Wasim Khan that he had “no desires or intentions of playing international cricket” and should therefore not be considered for selection. “This is a personal decision of Mohammad Amir, which the PCB respects,” the PCB press release added. Keeping in view Pakistan cricket’s unpredictablilty, no one would rule out a comeback for Amir at some point in the future. He is still widely sought after in T20 leagues around the world.