Former Pakistan captain Azhar Ali has retired from ODIs in an effort to prolong his Test career.
“I haven’t taken this decision suddenly,” Azhar, 33, told reporters. “It’s the right time to focus on Tests. There have been terrific players in one-dayers in the Pakistan set-up. I want to concentrate on Tests with the same fitness and energy that I have been.
“I didn’t decide to retire after any hard feelings, it’s my personal decision. I want to focus on Tests with full energy and improve my career record there. I don’t have any regrets because I always gave all my efforts.
“As a former captain, I wish the team very best for an important season ahead before the World Cup next year. I fully support Sarfraz [Ahmed]. He has been leading them very well.”
Azhar has been in and out of the ODI side, his last major contribution coming in the 2017 Champions Trophy triumph, when he scored 59 in the final against India after a 50 against the same opponents in the league stage and 76 against England in the semi-final. But he had not featured in the tea since January this year.
He retires having scored 1,845 runs at 36.90, and having captained the team during a difficult period during which they slipped to a record-low ninth in the ODI rankings
PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said: “Azhar remains an integral part of Pakistan’s Test team. I am confident that he will continue to serve the team with distinction.”