Pakistan’s seasoned batsman Mohammad Hafeez on Tuesday announced his retirement from Test cricket after failing again in the first innings of the third and final match against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi. Hafeez, who was playing in his 55th Test, fell for a duck on the second day and announced his retirement, insisting that he had been pondering over the decision for the last two weeks. He, however, said that he will continue to play limited-over cricket.
“It is a personal decision and I have not taken it under any pressure. I have no regrets taking this decision,” he told reporters after the day’s play in Abu Dhabi. The 38-year-old Hafeez made his Test debut in 2003 against Bangladesh and since then has appeared in 54 matches, besides playing in 203 ODIs and 89 T20 Internationals.
Before this Test, Hafeez has scored 3644 runs at an average of 38.35, with 10 hundreds to his kitty. He has also taken 53 wickets. The former captain won a shock recall to the Pakistan Test squad as the 18th player just before the series against Australia in October after being constantly ignored by the national selectors and team management in the last few months.
He had publicly protested his exclusion from the national team which got him a reprimand from the Pakistan Cricket Board. Hafeez made a triumphant return to the Test side in the first match against Australia, scoring a hundred. But since then, he has struggled in subsequent Tests against Australia and New Zealand in the UAE.
“Yes, I am disappointed at not having been able to get runs after the century but I have decided to retire from Tests with a clear mind,” he said. “I am satisfied with whatever I achieved for Pakistan in this format. I just want to focus on the limited overs formats now,” he said.
Last month, another experienced batsman, Azhar Ali announced his retirement from ODI and T20 matches, insisting he just wanted to focus on the longer format of the game.