Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood
Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood

Knee injury revives Amir's workload concerns

ANI | Updated: May 14, 2018 12:32 IST

Karachi [Pakistan], May 14 (ANI): Bowling coach Azhar Mahmood has admitted that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) needs to reconsider star fast bowler Mohammad Amir's workload if they want to save him from severe physical exertion that might cause injuries in future.
The 43-year-old's comments came after Amir was laid low by a chronic knee problem and was forced off the field late on the third day of the lone Test match against Ireland in Dublin on Sunday.
Amir was first forced to leave the field after bowling just three overs with the new ball during Ireland's second innings, following what appeared to be a slight limp.
He, however, came to bowl once again in the 21st over before eventually making his way back to the pavilion due to a pain in his left knee.
Though Mahmood confirmed Amir's injury, he remained hopeful that the pace spearhead would be fine soon as Pakistan not only look forward to the end of the one-off Test but also to two more matches against England.
"He has got a chronic knee problem which has slightly flared up.Hopefully, he will be okay tomorrow to bowl for us. He's having treatment and hopefully tonight we will do a bit more treatment, tomorrow morning, ice as well, so he will be fine," ESPNcricinfo quoted Mahmood as saying.
However, Amir's injury has once again alleviated concerns about his long-term future in five-day cricket, with the bowling coach admitting that they need to manage the pacer's workload across three formats of the game.
"Yes, you can say that because unfortunately he came back after five years and since he came back he played every format for us. We have to manage his workload as well so maybe that's a sign for us to in the future to see where he stands and we've got a bunch of young guys coming up and we want to have Test bowlers separately to the one-day and T20s, so we are working on that and hopefully we can come up with something," Mahmood said.
Since making a return to the national team in January 2016, Amir has delivered more international overs than any other Pakistan fast bowler.
It was the second time Amir was forced off the field during a Test match. He had earlier walked off the field after hurting his right shin during the second Test of the two-match series against Sri Lanka in Abu Dubai in October last year.
And Mahmood insisted that Amir is Pakistan's number one bowler and that they want him to feature in the longest format of the game for them.
"We want him to play Test cricket because he is our No.1 bowler and we want him to run in and bowl for us. Workload - I have seen a lot of fast bowlers and their body can't take it, so they just manage to play one format or two formats, but for him it's a concern for us but hopefully we will manage his workload in the future," Mahmood said.
Amir has been continuously playing for Pakistan in all formats of the game, ever since making a return from his five-year ban for his alleged involvement in various offences of corrupt behaviour relating to the Lord's Test between England and Pakistan in August 2010 by the independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal in February 2011.
Amir has played a total of 31 Tests and bagged 97 wickets since making a return to international cricket, however, it seems that the non-stop involvement in all formats might have burdened him. (ANI)