Shoaib Akhtar talked Mohammad Hafeez out of early retirement

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Mohammad Hafeez was the star of the show for Pakistan against Australia on the first day of the first Test in Dubai.

akhtar saved hafeez 2

The Pakistan opener registered his 10th hundred in Test cricket but if it wasn’t for former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, Hafeez could well have been cooling his heels at home

He had decided to retire from Test cricket due to some personal problems and it took a phone call from Akhtar to convince Hafeez to carry on with the game.

“I had a few problems in the last few months, I could have taken some steps, drastic, but I was stopped from taking them. I could have taken them, my wife stopped me. Shoaib Akhtar specially called me and at that time I was thinking of drastic steps as I was very disturbed.

“I think Allah is the best planner and he planned good things for me. I could have been something else this time. I probably think this is the place where I had to stage a comeback. When I came back in the team all the players welcomed me and gave me confidence, and that increased my inner energy so I am very happy at the comeback,” said Hafeez after the match.

He was initially left out of the squad and made a comeback when he got a late recall but Hafeez said he had been expecting it.

“I was announced as 18th member by the management later on. I was playing domestic cricket and scoring runs so I was expecting a recall. I was in a positive frame of mind that I am going back into the team and that I will perform,” he said.

Hafeez added that he was looking to finish his international career on a high

“Look, whoever the player is, he wants to leave with respect, and that is my wish,” he said. “I want to play with respect and end with respect. There are other avenues after that but whatever life is left in me I want to play for Pakistan and leave on a high.”