Pakistan’s former captain Azhar Ali has announced his retirement from test cricket with the upcoming match against England as his last act of service for Pakistan.

Azhar made his test debut in 2015 against Australia in England at Lord’s at the age of 25 and made his first half-century in his second game.

He went on to score 34 more half-centuries while crossing the 100-run mark 19 times.

Azhar’s 7,097 runs in 96 matches are fifth on the list for most scored runs for Pakistan behind only Younis Khan (10,099), Javed Miandad (8,832), Inzamam-ul-Haq (8,829) and Mohammad Yousuf (7,530).

A visibly emotional Azhar Ali confirmed the news during a press conference.

“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 deep contemplating, I realised that this is the right time for me to retire from Test cricket.

“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 countries, and that I was able to captain Pakistan is a matter of great pride for me”

He captained Pakistan in nine Tests in two separate stints from 2016 to 2020 and remains Pakistan’s only batter to score a triple-century in a pink-ball Test (against the West Indies in Dubai in 2016).

Azhar had earlier retired from white-ball cricket in 2018 having helped Pakistan win the 2017 Champions Trophy.

He is expected to keep applying his talent in domestic circuits.