Big set-back for Pakistan, Star player set to retire after third test vs ENG
After losing two consecutive tests against England, Babar Azam and his team will face the English team in the third and final test on December 17 (Saturday) at the National Stadium, Karachi. The visitors will look to make a 3-0 clean sweep.
However, just ahead of the start of the third match, Pakistan dealt with a big blow as their star batter and former test captain, Azhar Ali, announced his retirement from international cricket. He will play his last game on Saturday for Pakistan.
England has already won the series 2-0 and will be favourites going into the third game. Meanwhile, Pakistan will look to avoid a clean sweep at home. Ali announced his decision on Friday and thanked the PCB and his teammates for everything.
Azhar Ali said, "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. I am also blessed to have played under some wonderful coaches to whom I will always remain grateful."
After Younis Khan, Javed Miandad, Inzamam Ul Haq, and Mohammad Yousuf, the 37-year-old is his country's fifth highest run-scorer in the longest format. Azhar made his test debut for Pakistan in July 2010 against Australia. He is one of the few Pakistani batters with a Test triple century (302), which came in a pink-ball test.
Thus, he is the only Pakistani player to have a triple hundred in a day-night test. Apart from that, he has two double centuries in this format. In his 12-year-long career, he has played 96 Tests and scored 7097 runs at an average of 42.5, including 19 centuries and 35 half-centuries.
He has led Pakistan in a total of nine test matches over two different durations in 2016 and 2020. Furthermore, the PCB chairman, Ramiz Raza, also congratulated the 37-year-old and said that he has been an inspiration for young players.