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Hafeez to quit test cricket after 3rd test against NZ

December 4, 2018
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Pakistan's Muhammad Hafeez leaves after his dismissal in the test match against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Pakistan allrounder Mohammad Hafeez will retire from test cricket when the ongoing series against New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates ends this week.

Hafeez made the announcement on Tuesday, the second day of the series-deciding third test.

He wants to focus on limited-overs cricket: “I am eyeing to represent Pakistan in the World Cup next year,” Hafeez said in a statement. He played in the 2007 and 2011 Cricket World Cups

He made his international debut in 2003 and has played 55 tests, scoring 3,644 runs with 10 centuries and 12 half-centuries. He’s also taken 53 wickets with his offspin bowling.

“I feel honored that I represented the country ... including the opportunity of captaining the team,” he said.

“I feel satisfied that I performed to the best of my abilities in my 15-year-long test career.”

Recently, Hafeez has been going through a lean patch in the longest format. He’s scored only 39 runs in his four innings against New Zealand, including a duck on Tuesday.

However, the 38-year-old opener may yet add to his test runs if Pakistan bats a second innings.

Hafeez was demoted in Pakistan Cricket Board’s list of centrally contracted players four months ago. He even thought about quitting international cricket before he was persuaded to continue his career by his family and former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

He also made a resounding comeback into test cricket in October, more than two years after his last test, by smashing a century against Australia in Dubai. But since then his highest score has been 20.

PCB chairman Ehsan Mani appreciated the contribution of Hafeez.

“Hafeez gave some memorable and matching-winning performances for Pakistan in the test match format,” Mani said. “His contribution in test cricket would be remembered for long time. I wish him the very best for the remainder of his international career.”

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