LAHORE: Announcing his retirement from international cricket, all-rounder and former skipper Mohammad Hafeez (41) said on Monday that he will continue to play in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and other cricket leagues.

“I started this journey in cricket 18 years ago and I am announcing my retirement today,” Hafeez told media at a news conference in Lahore. “I played for Pakistan; I did not have greed, I did not want to earn money, I only played for pride. I have no regrets of any kind. I am completely satisfied. It is not that physically I cannot play on. I could have played the next World Cup as well but I decided to retire myself,” he said. To a query, he said he neither needs a farewell from the cricket board, nor has he asked for one.

Hafeez, who made his debut in Sharjah against Zimbabwe on 3rd April 2003, represented Pakistan in 392 international matches, scoring 12,780 runs and taking 253 wickets, besides captaining the side in 32 international matches. He was a member of the Pakistan side that won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England and Wales. Overall, Hafeez played in three 50-over World Cups (2007, 2011 and 2019), six 20-over World Cups (2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2021) and three ICC Champions Trophy (2006, 2013 and 2017).

Mohammad Hafeez said, “I am thankful to all my fellow cricketers, captains, support staff and the Pakistan Cricket Board who helped me out during my career. I am extremely fortunate, lucky and proud to have been considered worthy of donning the national kit with Pakistan emblem for 18 years. My country and my team have always been at my forefront and therefore, every time I stepped on to the field, I tried to raise their profile and image by playing hard and tough but within the rich traditions of spirit of cricket.”

While cricket has been a great learning school for me, this great sport has provided me opportunities to visit various countries, explore their cultures and make friends. These are lifelong memories, which I will cherish every day. I want to thank my fans and supporters for believing in my abilities and backing me throughout my career, Hafeez said.

PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja said, “Hafeez has been a wholehearted cricketer who worked tirelessly at his game to have a long and fruitful career. His game evolved with time, adjusting to different formats quite intelligently. Later in his career, he became a T20 specialist, where he was never out of touch with modern demands of this testing format. His batsmanship took a sprightly turn, nailing sixes almost at will.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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