Veteran Pakistani all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has called it quits from international cricket on Monday (January 3), putting down the curtain to an illustrious 18-year long career. The star all-rounder had announced retirement from Test cricket in 2018.
The player has, however, not bid adieu to T20 franchise cricket and will continue to feature across different such leagues. He has signed up with the Lahore Qalandars ahead of the upcoming edition of the Pakistan Super League.
“Today I say goodbye to international cricket with pride and satisfaction,” Hafeez said. “In fact, I have earned and accomplished more than I had initially envisaged and for that, I am thankful to all my fellow cricketers, captains, support staff and the Pakistan Cricket Board who helped me out during my career.”
Mohammad Hafeez had planned on announcing his retirement after the 2020 T20 World Cup. However, the tournament got postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby delaying his retirement.
“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 onto the field, I tried to raise their profile and image by playing hard and tough but within the rich traditions of the spirit of cricket.
“When you have a professional career as long as mine, you’re bound to have your share of highs and lows, and I was no different. Results apart, I can say with conviction that I had more highs as I had the privilege of playing with and against some of the finest exponents of the bat and the ball of my era.”
Mohammad Hafeez made his international debut in 2003 in an ODI versus Zimbabwe and played his last game in the international circuit in a match against Australia in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 semifinal in November. In the 392 international matches he played for Pakistan, the 41-year old aggregated 12,789 runs and scalped 253 wickets.
He represented the side in 55 Tests, 218 ODIs, and 119 T20Is while featuring in three ICC ODI World Cups and six T20 World Cups and was a member of the squad that won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
During his prime time, he won 32 Player-of-the-Match awards in the international circuit, which is the fourth-highest for a Pakistan player. He has also got nine Player-of-the-Series awards under his belt, which is the joint-second in the all-time list with Imran Khan, Inzamam and Waqar Younis.
“Hafeez has been a wholehearted cricketer who worked tirelessly at his game to have a long and fruitful career,” said PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja. “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 the modern demands of this testing format. His batsmanship took a sprightly turn, nailing sixes almost at will.
“He has worn the green blazer with pride for which we at the PCB are thankful. I wish him the best of luck for his future life and thank him again for his magnificent contribution to Pakistan cricket.”