Pakistan top-order batter and former Test captain Azhar Ali has announced his retirement from red-ball cricket.
After the third Test against England, which starts on Saturday in Karachi, Azhar Ali, one of Pakistan’s most successful batters, will retire from international cricket.
Azhar captained Pakistan in nine Tests in two separate tenures from 2016 to 2020.
“It has been a great honor and privilege for me to represent my country at the highest level. Deciding on when to call it a day is always tough, but, after contemplating deeply, I realized that this is the right time for me to retire from Test cricket,” the 37-year-old batter said while addressing a news conference at National Bank Cricket Arena.
“There are many people who I am grateful to in this strenuous, yet beautiful journey. I want to make a special mention of my family without whose sacrifices; I would not have been where I am today. My parents, wife, siblings, and children have been my strength throughout.
“I have been blessed to share a dressing room with some of the most outstanding cricketers with whom I share a strong bond. I feel much richer by calling these people my friends. I am also blessed to have played under some wonderful coaches to whom I will always remain grateful.
“I retire from international cricket as a fulfilled cricketer who ticked most of the goals he had set for himself. Not many cricketers go on to lead their countries, and that I was able to captain Pakistan is a matter of great pride for me. From being a kid who started as a leg-spinner to becoming a mainstay in the Test batting line-up, I had the loveliest moments of my life that I will cherish forever,” he added.
In a statement, PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja: “Azhar Ali has been one of the most committed and loyal servants of Pakistan cricket. His grit and determination have been an inspiration for many young cricketers and he is a role model for up-and-coming cricketers.
“I hope to see Azhar continuing to play a role in the development of Pakistan cricket and sharing his vast knowledge and experience with budding cricketers,” the PCB chief said.