The tip of Pakistan’s bowling spear is ready to lay down that responsibility. Mohammad Amir has announced his retirement from Test cricket. The 27-year-old left-arm quick, however, has said he will continue playing white-ball cricket for Pakistan. At a relatively young age and with only 36 matches played in total, Amir’s Test career will always remain a wistful question of “what-ifs”.

Once slated as Wasim Akram’s successor, a pace bowling’s prodigy, he lost his prime years to a scandal he was too young to truly appreciate. He made his debut as a 17-year-old in July 2009 and played 14 Tests, picking up 51 wickets at 29, before being banned for five years for his role in the Lord’s spot-fixing scandal. After his return in July 2016, he played 22 Tests, taking 68 wickets at 31. While he remained a prolific bowler, he was a different bowler than the pacey free swinging youth who had broken onto the world stage.

His thoughts are similar. “Cricket is different since 2010 and if you look back I have lost five precious years of my career. Just imagine had I played in all those years, the count could have been 70-80 Tests.”

However, the 5 year ban was not the only impediment in him having a long test career, upon his blazing return to all formats; Pakistan - suffering an uncharacteristic dearth in pace bowling options –made Amir the workhorse of the team, putting on him the responsibility of leading the attack in each format. While Pakistan did reach the No.1 Test Raking with Amir leading the way, in the time since his return, Amir has bowled the seventh-most overs in international cricket, across formats, among fast bowlers worldwide. The workload has taken its toll.

Now the bowler looks to manage that workload to be able to extend his career in the shorter forms of the game. While everyone wishes him the best of luck in his future exploits, not seeing him in test whites anymore will be difficult pill to swallow for Cricket fans worldwide.