The upcoming third and final Test of the ongoing series between Pakistan and England will be the last match of top-order batter Azhar Ali, the cricketer announced during a press meet ahead of the match.
Pakistan have lost both the Tests against Ben Stokes & Co. and will be looking to stop the English team from whitewashing them. The third Test will start on Saturday at the National Stadium in Karachi.
As of now, Azhar – regarded as one of the most successful batters in Pakistan – has 7,097 runs to his name in 96 matches at an average of 42.49, including 19 hundreds and 35 half-centuries. He is the fifth leading run-getter for his country in the longest format and only behind legends such as Younis Khan (10,099), Javed Miandad (8,832), Inzamam-ul-Haq (8,829) and Mohammad Yousuf (7,530).
“It has been a great honour 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 realised that this is the right time for me to retire from Test cricket. 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,” said Azhar in a statement released by PCB.
“I have been blessed to share 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,” added Azhar.