Five Pakistan cricketers who retired early in Tests

If there is a sporting definition of the word “unpredictable”, it would be the Pakistan cricket team that truly surprises everyone whenever they enter the field. But even putting aside all the batting collapses and bowling heroics, Pakistan cricket has surprised everyone off the field too with many controversies involving players. Mohammad Amir took a controversial decision to quit all forms of cricket but he is not the first Pakistani international to retire young. In this article, we will look at five Pakistani cricketers whose retirement created a lot of debate.

#5 Zulqarnain Haider

A retirement unlike any other, Haider decided to hang up his boots at the age of 24 after claiming his family has gotten death threats from bookmakers. After contributing in the fourth ODI against South Africa in 2010, Haider fled Pakistan and sought asylum in London.

His mysterious disappearance for the training sessions of the fifth ODI was the talk of the town and a day later he announced his retirement. In 2011, Haider claimed that the situation has changed and he is ready to participate in all forms of cricket after discussion with the PCB president. However, there has been no progress from either side and he continues to take part in local tennis ball tournaments.

#4 Yasir Arafat

Arafat was yet another young talented Pakistani pacer who could not make a mark at the International level. He made his international debut aged just 19 in 2000 but never got the consistent chances he deserved. Arafat was also a useful lower-order hitter and has five hundreds at the first-class level.

He played only three Tests for Pakistan and took nine wickets. Arafat announced his retirement at the age of just 29, with the reason not being clear at that time. However, Arafat revealed later that the seniors in the team had shown favouritism and players were fast-tracked based on their liking.

#3 Aaqib Javed

In his prime, Javed formed a menacing pace triumvirate with Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. Javed was a menace for the Indian cricket team as he always played his best cricket against India. He played 22 Tests for Pakistan and played his last Test at Peshawar in 1998. Javed retired at the age of 27 following the match-fixing controversy, although he was not involved in it.

#2 Waqar Younis

Not a short or forgettable career by any means, Waqar is a certified legend but he retired at the age of just 32. He accepted the responsibility for Pakistan’s dismal performance in the 2003 World Cup and announced his retirement. Waqar played 87 Tests for Pakistan and picked 373 wickets at an outstanding strike rate of 43. His retirement left a huge void in Pakistani cricket that is yet to be filled.

#1 Mohammad Amir

Arguably the most talented fast bowler of this generation, Mohammad Amir announced his retirement at the age of 26 citing mental torture as the reason. His career was fun while it lasted as the excitement level was always high when he ran to bowl with the new ball.

Mohammad Amir became the youngest bowler to take 50 wickets in Tests during the 2010 tour of England but his life completely changed after that tour. His involvement in spot-fixing along with Salman Butt and Asif earned him a five-year ban. He did show flashes of brilliance after his comeback but never fulfilled his immense potential.

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