Veteran Pakistani all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has decided to call time on his Test career after the ongoing third and final Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi.
Hafeez made the announcement after day’s play on Tuesday (December 4) that the ongoing Abu Dhabi Test against the Black Caps would be his last appearance in the whites for the Men in Green.
Ever since the 38-year-old returned to Test folds after two years’ gap in October, the struggling opener has managed only 66 runs in seven outings since his hundred against Australia in Dubai last month, and has been continuously struggling with the bat and even with the ball against the Kiwis.
The Abu Dhabi Test is Hafeez's 55th and has scored 3644 runs with 10 hundreds and 12 half centuries so far for Pakistan, with the chance to add to that in his second innings in the ongoing Test since making his debut against Bangladesh in 2003.
Now, the all-rounder just wants to focus on the white-ball cricket ahead of the 2019 World Cup and he was not forced into retirement, saying this “tough decision” was his own, while he had already informed the Pakistan Cricket Board about it earlier before making it to the public.
Hafeez told reporters, “I feel the time is up. I am announcing my retirement and feel happy that I worked hard in my career. I had been thinking of retiring from Tests for the last two weeks and thought that now is the time to leave the five-day format but I will continue to play limited-over matches.”
He continued, “To be honest, it was a tough decision and I was thinking about it for the last couple of weeks. But, I think this is the best time for me to exit from Test cricket and put all my efforts in white ball cricket where I feel I can offer more to Pakistan cricket moving forward. This is very much my own decision and I had informed the cricket board and my teammates about it. But, we have kept it as a secret because I wanted to announce it tonight.”
Noteworthy, Hafeez also took 53 wickets in the longest format of the game, but his career as a bowler was marred because of the illegality of his bowling action.
(With AFP Inputs)