Azhar Ali says he will always cherish amazing memories from his time playing for Worcestershire which culminated in gaining promotion to Division One of the LV=Insurance County Championship.
The Pakistan star has come to the end of spell at New Road after two seasons in which he has played some crucial innings.
But he has also been a significant influence off the pitch in passing on his enormous experience and knowledge to the squad and a popular figure with members and supporters.
The iconic image of Azhar will be the one of him stopping and chatting to a group of young supporters immediately after being dismissed following his double century against Leicestershire at New Road.
He made several crucial contributions in Worcestershire’s promotion campaign, including 62 in the second innings of the away win over Derbyshire and his unbeaten century on the last day against on-song England bowler, Ollie Robinson, to earn a draw with promotion rivals Sussex at New Road.
He said: “Amazing memories and I’ve loved every minute of it. The club has been very welcoming. All the love I got from the members and supporters, and especially in the club, has made for a great two years for me.
“We have some fond memories and hopefully we will cherish them throughout my career and beyond.
“I always enjoy talking to the fans, and especially when it comes to the kids.
“I really love chatting with them and whatever they want from me, I try and give back to them because that’s what we play the game for because you want kids to play cricket and want to encourage them.
“As a player who has played for a long time, it is not only going and performing yourself but also whatever knowledge you have, and good things you have learnt not only as a cricketer but as a person, you have to pass on.
“All great players are good human beings. I’ve never come across a good player who is also not a good person.
“I’ve tried to convey all these things and transfer them as much as I could to the players here and their response has been superb.
Azhar was delighted to help Worcestershire seal promotion back to the top flight.
He said: “We had a wonderful season and we knew, coming into September, that if we had three good games, we could get promoted.
“The win over Glamorgan really got us believing in that.
“We know we needed only two points from the game with Yorkshire but we were really focused and we wanted to make sure we got them in the first innings.