Asad Shafiq announces retirement from all forms of cricket

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Asad Shafiq, the former Pakistan Test middle-order batter, has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. He is expected to take up a position as a national selector.

Shafiq, 37, was a core part of the Misbah-ul-Haq Test side in the 2010s, playing a vital role in their rise to the top of the Test rankings. He announced his retirement on Sunday, after captaining the Karachi Whites side to the National T20 title. He has agreed to play three games for his department side SNGPL in the returning Patron’s Trophy because they will be missing several players away on Test duty. But effectively, the T20 final was his farewell.

Shafiq played the last of his 77 Tests for Pakistan in 2020, nearly 10 years after his debut. He had been a regular on the domestic circuit since, though he said after the final that he was no longer feeling as excited about the game as he used to.

“I’m no longer feeling that excitement and passion that I did when I first started playing,” he said. “I wanted to thank all those who have helped me through my career.”

“After being dropped in 2020 I kept on playing domestic cricket for three years in the hope of getting another crack at the Pakistan team. But before the start of this season, I had decided this would be my last season because I felt that closing in on 38 years of age this was time to retire instead of people telling me to step down.”

Alongside Misbah, Younis Khan and Azhar Ali, Shafiq formed a middle order that was the bedrock of much of Pakistan’s success, especially during their years of exile in the UAE. He ended his career with 4660 runs at an average of 38.19, though in his best phases it hovered near the mid-40s. Shafiq has the most Test hundreds from that position, and he went past Sir Garry Sobers’ record after one of his most memorable centuries.

That hundred came soon after his 109 at The Oval, in a win that not only leveled the series but also took Pakistan to the top of the Test rankings. Shafiq had made his international debut in England, in the immediate aftermath of the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, playing his first ODIs on that tour and his first Test in November that year, as Misbah took over as captain.

A future as a selector in Wahab Riaz’s new-look committee now awaits, as Shafiq waits for his contract to be finalized.

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