Mohammad Hafeez is set to retire from international cricket, ending a career spanning more than 18 years with the Pakistan side.
His international debut came in an ODI against Zimbabwe in 2003, with his last match turning out to be Pakistan’s defeat against Australia in the T20 World Cup semi-final last November.
The 41-year-old top-order batter and offspinner, has signed up with Lahore Qalandars for the upcoming edition of the PSL and will continue to be available for franchise cricket around the world.
Hafeez played 55 Tests, 218 ODIs and 119 T20Is while amassing 12,780 runs across formats, and would up his career with 32 Player-of-the-Match awards, the fourth-highest among Pakistan players in all international cricket, with only Shahid Afridi (43), Wasim Akram (39) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (33) above him.
In addition to that, Hafeez also earned nine Player-of-the-Series awards, joint-second with Imran Khan, Inzamam and Waqar Younis.
Although both Hafeez and Shoaib Malik, the longest-serving Pakistan cricketer in the current set-up, had initially decided to retire from international cricket upon the conclusion of last year’s T20 World Cup, Hafeez has delayed making the announcement and is expected to make the news public soon.
Hafeez had retired from Test cricket in December 2018, with the selectors later deciding to move on from him in ODIs after the 2019 World Cup, where he played his last match of the format – against Bangladesh at Lord’s.
While he had initially announced that the 2020 T20 World Cup would be his final assignment for Pakistan, the tournament was pushed to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Hafeez ended up extending his time with the Pakistan team as a result.
But after being dropped from the T20I side in 2018, Hafeez was recalled in 2020 for the home series against Bangladesh, and ended the year with a remarkable run; he was the leading run-getter in the format that year, and scored at an average of 83 and a strike rate of 152.
He also ended the year as the overall sixth-highest run-scorer across all T20s, with the third-highest average and the third-best strike rate.
He is the only Pakistan player to have played in all but one T20 World Cup – the one Pakistan ended up winning in 2009 – and holds the Pakistan record for most T20 World Cup appearances.
Hafeez also led Pakistan to the 2012 World T20 semi-final.
He was also the captain when Pakistan crashed out in the group stage in the 2014 edition, the first time until then that they had failed to progress to the semi-finals of the tournament.
His overall T20I record as captain stands at 18 wins – one via a one-over eliminator – and 11 losses from 29 matches.
Hafeez also bowled handy offspin for most part of his career, the effectiveness of which started to fade away after he remodelled his action on being reported multiple times.