Friday, December 16th, 2022


Worcestershire Head Coach, Alan Richardson, paid tribute to Azhar Ali, who will retire from Test cricket with Pakistan after the third and final Test against England in Karachi.

Azhar, who will be returning to New Road next summer after a successful 2022 campaign, announced his decision at a pre-match press conference today (Friday).

He has amassed 7,097 Test runs at an average of 42.49 with 19 centuries and is one of only five Pakistan players to score 7,000 Test runs.

Richardson said: “It is a real reflection of him, not just as a player but as a person, that he has been such an invaluable part of that Pakistan squad and that team.

“We have benefitted hugely last year at Worcestershire from having that player and person and look forward to him having another positive impact in 2023.

“To play at the highest level for 10-12 years, he has shown an amazing amount of consistency, averaging nearly 43 in Test cricket.

“He has got a lot of characteristics that have made him successful for a huge part of his career.

“To come out in the first Test, after damaging his finger, and play the way he did, showed the real character.

“It is a real reflection of him, and one we have benefitted from already.”

Azhar said: “This will be my last game for Pakistan, and I have a lot of good memories to cherish. This day comes to everyone. I’m happy with my time and the friends I’ve made.

“It has been a great honour and privilege for me to represent my country at the highest level.

“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 have been blessed to share the dressing room with some of the most outstanding cricketers with whom I share a strong bond.

“I feel much richer by calling these people my friends. I am also blessed to have played under some wonderful coaches to whom I will always remain grateful.

“I retire from international cricket as a fulfilled cricketer who ticked most of the goals he had set for himself.

“Not many cricketers go on to lead their country, and that I was able to captain Pakistan is a matter of great pride for me.

“From being a kid who started as a leg-spinner to becoming a mainstay in the Test batting line-up, I had the loveliest moments of my life that I will cherish forever.”