Senior Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali 01 November 2018 announced his retirement from limited overs cricket in order to concentrate fully on Test cricket. Azhar, 33, said he had taken the decision to focus only on Test cricket and also because he felt the time was right.
A prolific player in the longest format, the 33-year-old played the last of his 53 ODIs against New Zealand in January, earlier this year. His orthodox batting style in ODIs at an average of 36.90 and strike-rate of 74.45 has often come up for criticism.
Azhar, who had to step down as captain of the ODI team last year, however, felt that he could have done more in 50-over cricket. Making it clear he had felt no pressure to retire from ODIs, Azhar said his decision will give team management ample time to finalize their squad for next year’s World Cup.
Azhar also said his only regret remained the way he could not continue as ODI captain for a long period. “I just felt at that time they were some people, who didn’t support me as ODI captain. Who thought I was not good for this format. It is never easy to captain the Pakistan side but they are also some good memories for me as captain.”