When the year 2022's commencement opened room for so many prospects in and out of cricket, we also witnessed one of Pakistan's legends of the game-ending his life as a cricketer. Hafeez announced his retirement from cricket on January 3.

Mohammad Hafeez who made his debut in 2006 announced his retirement after almost 16 years of struggle and success. But every struggle has a journey right? Let's have a look.

A versatile all-rounder that could bat at almost any position, Hafeez embarked on his career as a cricketer after Pakistan's shambolic display in the 2003 World Cup.

However, the start was bitter as he was shown the way out of both the Test and ODI sides. However, a string of some consistent performances in the domestic circuit helped Hafeez make his way back into the Pakistan squad by 2005.

In 2006 against Australia, Hafeez scored his maiden ton and that followed with him being called up for the England tour as well. After a staggering 95 at the Oval, Hafeez cemented his spot in the side.

In 2010 he was once again under the scanner for his poor performances. However, later that year, he ended up as the second-highest run-scorer in the series and redeemed himself after a disappointing 2010 ICC World T20.

2012 onwards Hafeez shifted gears and went to break many national records. 2012 also saw Hafeez being appointed as the Pakistan skipper for T20Is and he managed to reach the semi-finals until the hosts Sri Lanka beat them.

As the skipper, he managed to win multiple games against Zimbabwe, South Africa, and West Indies, also equalling the record for most wins as a Pakistan captain in T20Is. He also became the first Pakistani captain to hit three fifties in a row and became Pakistan's leading run-scorer in the T20s.

Hafeez has been in a fair share of controversies post his captaincy. However, his performance in the match against England in the Cricket World Cup 2019 was great! But then he failed to make an impact in the tournament and was criticized. His bowling economy was the worst among the Pakistani spinners.

In 2020, after a couple of months due to Covid-19, Hafeez went on to become only the second Pakistan batsman to score 2000 T20I runs.

Hafeez has been quite impactful in franchise T20 Leagues as well. He has represented Peshawar Zalmi and Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League, and in 2014, he replaced Lasith Malinga in the Big Bash League as well for Melbourne Stars.

Mohammad Hafeez stats

MatchesRunsWicketsBatting avgBowling avg100s/50sBest scoresBest Figures
Test (55)36525337.6434.1110/122244/16
ODI (218)661413932.9038.8411/38140*4/41
T20I (119)25146126.4622.750/1499*4/10

The numbers show how good Hafeez was in all the formats he played in. The fact that he helped his side with the ball quite a few times and proved to be an important batsman in the squad too for such a long time, his place in Pakistan's history among the very few.

Mohammad Hafeez records and achievements

# Record partnership with Nasir Jamshed against India in ODIs (224).

# Second batsman after Zaheer Abbas to score 3 tons in an ODI series.

# A member of World T20 XI in 2013. 

# A member of World ODI XI in 2014.

# The most economical spell in T20I for Pakistan (6 runs off four overs)

# Led Pakistan to the second rank in T20I rankings.

Bowling action controversy

Mohammad Hafeez was a spinner yet his bowling action was questioned multiple times. It started in 2015, his bowling action was suspended for the first time. In 2017, it was the ICC that banned his bowling action. In 2019, ECB banned his action again and restricted Hafeez to bowl in the T20 Blast.

Mohammad Hafeez will remain one of the most influential figures for Pakistan, especially as an all-rounder. Let us know your thoughts! Stay tuned with Cricwizz!

Cover Credits: CricketCafe