Veteran Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, who captained his national team in every format of the game, has announced his retirement from international cricket on Monday.
The 41-year-old top-order batter has signed up with Lahore Qalandars for the upcoming edition of the Pakistan Super League and will continue to be available for franchise cricket around the world, a report on 'Geo News' stated even though there is no word from the player as yet.
Hafeez, who had announced his retirement from Test cricket in 2018, and would be ending a career spanning nearly two decades.
"Today I say goodbye 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," Hafeez said in a statement released by the Pakistan Cricket Cricket Board (PCB).
"And, of course, my family who made big sacrifices to ensure I achieved my aspirations of representing Pakistan at a global stage.
"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 the spirit of cricket.
"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.
"While cricket has been a great learning school for me, this great sport has provided me opportunities to visit various countries, explore their cultures and make friends. These are lifelong memories, which I will cherish every day. I want to thank my fans and supporters for believing in my abilities and backing me throughout my career," he added.
Hafeez had announced his retirement from Test cricket in 2018 and ended a career spanning nearly two decades.
He represented Pakistan in 392 international matches in which he scored 12,789 runs and took 253 wickets.
He has played 55 Tests, 218 ODIs and 119 T20Is for the country including three ICC ODI World Cups and six T20 World Cups.
His international debut came in an ODI against Zimbabwe in 2003 and his last match was Pakistan's defeat to Australia in the T20 World Cup semi-final last November.
PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja has heaped praise on the all-rounder. He said: "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."
During a successful career, he won 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) placed ahead of him.
Besides, Hafeez also earned nine Player-of-the-Series awards, which made him joint-second in the all-time list with Imran Khan, Inzamam and Waqar Younis.
He had initially said that the 2020 T20 World Cup would be his last assignment for Pakistan, but the tournament was pushed to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Hafeez ended up stretching his career to represent his team in the premier tournament.