Pakistan‘s batting ace Azhar Ali has announced his retirement from Test cricket ahead of the third Test against England in Karachi. Pakistan’s fifth leading run-getter in the longest format of the game, Azhar, revealed that the Karachi Test will be his last red-ball assignment for the Asian outfit in a presser on Friday.
Azhar Ali made his debut in red-ball cricket at the iconic venue of Lord’s in 2010 and has been one of the most loyal servants of Pakistani cricket in the last 12 years. The elegant batter has represented Pakistan in 96 Tests, scoring 7097 at a healthy average of 42.49. He will be hoping to add to his tally of 19 centuries and 35 half-centuries in his final match in Karachi.
Azhar announced his retirement from 50-over cricket in 2018, a year after contributing to his side’s triumph in the Champions Trophy.
“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. 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.”Azhar Ali said in an official statement to the press
“Azhar Ali has been one of the most committed and loyal servants of Pakistan cricket” – Ramiz Raja
The 37-year-old has also served as a captain for the national side in two separate tenures from 2016 to 2020. PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja praised the veteran cricketer for his commitment to Pakistan cricket and hailed him as an inspiration for the younger generation. Although he has announced his retirement from the game, Ramiz wishes to see him involved in the development of young cricketers in the country.
“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. While it is sad that Pakistan will not have a player of his experience in the dressing room to draw upon, it only reflects the circle of life. 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,” Ramiz said in an official statement.