So yes! I just announced my retirement from Test Cricket and I think I did the right thing…….I have been thinking about it for a while (and lets talk about this point later), I have also discussed with a close few, taken opinions of friends, family, peers, seniors, my wife, and Ammi jaan. Then add to all this my gut feeling and a number of Istakhara namazs, I think you will agree that it was just about timing the decision.
But it was one of the toughest decisions of my life, no doubt. Mentally I had kind of retired from Test format sometime back as I decided to focus only on One days and T20s. But my love for Cricket in general and the fascination with Test Cricket in specific never allowed me to take it as a formal decision.
I was in a delightful shock when my name was added to the Test squad after the Zimbabwe series. And I will never say no to a call to any squad for Pakistan, just cant do that. Playing these 3 Tests have also helped me to confirm my decision, and re-connect with what it takes. All I can say for sure is that Test format, is a REAL test!
Sure I can play test for quite a few more years, and my performance during this series made me more confident with my abilities as a utility player. Also our Test team is well established, performing well, and, having been a part of this series, I can confirm that the team needs the leadership of Misbah and Younis – not me. Also what the team needs is the much younger talent who can play with the seniors, learn and get the grooming around the tons of experience. Im giving up my spot for new talent, the likes of Babar Azam, Moahmmed Rizwan, Sohaib Maqsood, Harris Sohail, and many others. I want to focus on the World Cup 2019 and give back to my people what I have learned around the world of Cricket, like two decades ago others had done for me.
Im also giving up my spot to have quality time with family and experience the many things this life has to offer. I have enjoyed playing professional cricket for the past 20 years and have lived my dreams….but mostly all of this has come at the cost of my family time and personal relationships. I need to take care of these blessings around me as that’s what really means the most to me. Would also like to mention Ammi jaan without whom I will be just too lost.
Lastly, and foremost, I would like to thank my fans, friends, the Pakistan Cricket Board, team mates, management, coaches for trusting me and my abilities.
Bleeding green, I remain