'Professor, you will be missed': Mohammad Hafeez's retirement triggers farewells and tributes on Twitter
It's a bittersweet day for Pakistani cricket fans everywhere. Former captain and veteran allrounder Mohammad Hafeez announced his retirement from international cricket on Monday, triggering a flood of farewells from cricket fans on Twitter.
The 41-year-old announced his decision at a press conference in Lahore. "I started this journey 18 years ago, and I'm announcing my retirement today," he said. "I played for Pakistan due to the pride [I felt]. I didn't have greed, I didn't want to earn money, I only played for pride. I have no regrets of any kind. I am completely satisfied [with my career]."
Hafeez said he will continue to play in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and other cricket leagues.
The PCB took to social media to thank the cricketer for his trailblazing contributions to Pakistani cricket. "Thank you Hafeez", it tweeted.
Fans too took to Twitter to fondly bid adieu to Hafeez, nicknamed "Professor".
"[The] Professor Retires," posted a heartbroken user. "What a Legend."
"What an incredible servant Hafeez has been for the history of Pakistan cricket," tweeted another user. "He's been through all the highs and lows for Pakistan [and] has always played every game with his heart on his sleeve. One of our greatest ever cult heroes."
"Aah, Professor you will be missed. Happy Retirement Mohammad Hafeez," tweeted one fan.
"[The] end of an era!" exclaimed a fan. "Thank you Professor for all [your] services for Pakistan. A brilliant career comes to an end."
"Pakistan has now lost its middle order gem," tweeted a fan.
Many remembered Hafeez as part the great spin trio in Pakistan cricket that included Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi.
"With the retirement of Hafeez [comes] the end of the greatest spin era of Pakistan Cricket in LOIs [Limited Overs Internationals]," said one fan.
"Streets will never forget the greatness!" a user posted, sharing a picture collage of Ajmal, Hafeez, Afridi as well as Umar Gul.
"Thank you Hafeez bhai for such a great memories with [Shahid Afridi] and others," shared a fan. "You are [a] legend and [we] will miss you Professor. Hopefully [we will] see u in [the] commentary box."
Some fans also shared their favourite innings of The Professor.
It's been quite the journey for Hafeez who began his professional cricket journey in 2003. His last match was the T20 World Cup 2021 semi-final against Australia, in which he came to bat at the very end of the innings and finished unbeaten on 1 run off 1 ball.
Farewell Professor, you will be missed.