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Mohammad Hafeez bids farewell to the international cricket, will continue playing franchise cricket

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Mohammad Haffez has announced his retirement from international cricket

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Mohammad Hafeez bids farewell to the international cricket, will continue playing franchise cricket

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SportsCafe Desk

01/03/2022

Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has announced his retirement from international cricket, ending a career started in 2003 against Zimbabwe in an ODI match. Hafeez will continue playing franchise cricket and will feature for Lahore Qalandars in the upcoming edition of the Pakistan Super League.

Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez on Monday, January 3 announced his retirement from international cricket. Hafeez, however, reckoned that he will continue to be available for franchise cricket. The all-rounder started his international career in 2003 in an ODI against Zimbabwe, and played his last international game against Australia in the T20 World Cup semifinal in November, a thrilling fixture which Pakistan lost. 

The all-rounder has signed up with Lahore Qalandars for the upcoming edition of the Pakistan Super League. Hafeez stated that he represented Pakistan with great pride throughout the 18 years since his international debut.

"Today I want to officially retire from my beautiful journey I started 18 years ago with Pakistan Cricket. I represented Pakistan with great pride and whatever I have played throughout my 18 years I played with dignity and whether it's on the field or off the activities, I tried to raise Pakistan's flag high," Hafeez stated.

"I am very much happy and satisfied with my career and achievements which were actually for Pakistan so this is it for me. I represented Pakistan with absolute pride but I will continue to play international leagues until I am fit and can contribute with performances."

Hafeez played 55 Test matches, 218 ODIs and 119 T20Is for the national team, amassing 12,780 runs across formats. The all-rounder finished with 32 Player of the Match awards being the fourth-highest among Pakistan players with Shahid Afridi (43), Wasim Akram (39) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (33) above him. Hafeez had also earned nine Player of the series awards. 

"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," he explained. 

"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 for standing beside me understanding my lean patch, cherishing my success."

Hafeez also thanked his parents for their support and also revealed that the decision was not driven by any critics, but was from the heart. 

"I want to thank my parents for their prayers and support due to which I was able to serve my country besides that my two clubs where I started playing cricket - Faisal cricket club in Sargodha and Apollo cricket club in Lahore - both had lifted me in my earlier stage of the career. I am also thankful to all my fellow cricketers, captains, support staff, Pakistan Cricket Board and fellow media who supported me during my career," he revealed. 

"The decision is what my heart told me and not driven by any critics. For me, my critics had already started [criticising] since 2003 and people thought I wasn't a good player. I didn't want to turn my beautiful, positive journey into a negative one, that's why I am here, where I started my international cricket, and [am] ending it here"

Hafeez had earlier retired from Test cricket in December 2018. The 41-year-old has led Pakistan to 18 wins from 29 T20I matches.

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