Mohammad Amir, who recently shocked the cricketing world by announcing his retirement from Test cricket at the age of 27, is apparently planning to obtain a British passport and settle in the United Kingdom, according to a well-informed source. Amir, who is married to a British national Nargis Malik on September 2016, is planning a spouse visa which allows him to stay in the United Kingdom for two and a half years. Although Amir spent some time in a juvenile facility due to his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal during the Lord's Test of 2010, the left-arm pacer will have no problem in obtaining the spouse visa.
"He is clearly planning to obtain a British passport and permanently settle down in England in future. With a spouse visa, he can work freely and enjoy other benefits as a permanent resident of the UK which is why he is planning to also purchase a house in England. He travels to England regularly and also plays county cricket since last year. So, there are no hurdles for him now," the source said.
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Amir stunned the cricketing world when he announced that he would retire from Tests just before Pakistan participate in the World Test Championship. "Playing for Pakistan remains my ultimate desire and objective, and I will try my best to be in the best physical shape to contribute in the team's upcoming challenges, including next year's ICC T20 World Cup. It has not been an easy decision to make and I have been thinking about this for some time. But with the ICC World Test Championship commencing shortly, and Pakistan boasting some very exciting young fast bowlers, it is appropriate that I call on my time in Test cricket so that the selectors can plan accordingly," Amir said in a video statement.
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However, former Pakistan fast bowling greats like Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar and Wasim Akram have all criticised Amir's decision to retire from Tests at the age of 27. "I am disappointed and sad at his decision at this time. At 27 years of age, he is at his peak and should be available for Pakistan in Test cricket. I fear we might also see others like Hassan Ali and Wahab Riaz follow Amir in quitting test cricket," Akhtar said.
However, there are other reports which state that Amir is possibly wanting to become a British citizen as he tries to explore new possibilities with England cricket and also the IPL. There is speculation that Amir might go the Azhar Mahmood way and make himself eligible to play in the IPL. Barring the 2008 edition, Pakistan's players have not been allowed to play in the IPL and if Amir gets British citizenship, he might be tempted to throw in his name in the IPL and in a long-shot, possibly also represent England in the near future.