Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has retired from international cricket after representing the country in 392 matches, bringing curtains on a career of 18 years. Hafeez, however, will continue to play in franchise cricket competitions.
The 41-year-old Hafeez made his debut for Pakistan in Sharjah against Zimbabwe on April 3, 2003. In 392 international matches, which included 55 Tests, 218 ODIs and 119 T20Is, Hafeez scored 12,780 runs and took 253 wickets with his off-spin. He also captained Pakistan in 32 international matches, including 29 T20Is.
"Today I say good-bye to international cricket with pride and satisfaction. 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. And, of course, my family who made big sacrifices to ensure I achieved my aspirations of representing Pakistan at a global stage," said Hafeez in a statement issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Overall, Hafeez, also known as 'Professor', played in three Men's Cricket World Cups (2007, 2011 and 2019), six Men's T20 World Cups (2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2021) and three ICC Champions Trophy (2006, 2013 and 2017).
He was a member of the Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side which won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England and Wales.
"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," added Hafeez.
Hafeez had quit Test cricket in December 2018 and played his last ODI against Bangladesh in the 2019 Cricket World Cup at Lord's.
He was recalled in 2020 to the T20I and had finished the year as the leading run-scorer in the shortest format of the game. His last international match for Pakistan was in their semifinal loss to Australia in the 2021 Men's T20 World Cup in Dubai.
"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."
PCB chairman Rameez Raja applauded Hafeez's work ethics and his ability to adjust his game as per the demands of different formats in international cricket.
"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. He has worn the green blazer with pride for which we at the PCB are thankful. I wish him best of luck for his future life and thank him again for his magnificent contribution to Pakistan cricket."