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KARACHI: A day after being demoted from category ‘A’ to ‘B’ in Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s list of centrally contracted players, veteran Test cricketer Mohammad Hafeez is repo­rtedly considering retirement from international cri­c­­ket, DawnNewsTV reported.

Hafeez, 37, had been a perennial recipient of PCB’s top category contract, but that changed on Monday when his place in the highly exclusive group of six was given to rising star Babar Azam.

That hasn’t gone down well with Hafeez, who, accor­ding to sources close to him, is now disillusioned due to “discriminatory trea­­t­ment” and, as a result, “cannot continue to keep on playing.

“Mohammad Hafeez will not sign the central contract.”

Right-handed batsman Hafeez, who has captured 136 ODI, 52 Test and 51 T20 International wickets bowling off-spin while he was reported for illegal action several times during his international career that started back in 2003, has featured in 50 Tests, 200 ODIs and 83 T20 Inter­nationals. He has scored 3,452 runs in Tests and 6,107 runs in ODIs. Known for his all-round capabilities, Hafeez over the years has won a number of matches for Pakistan.

Perhaps to add credence to the “discriminatory” arg­­u­­ment, the source reca­lled that coach Mickey Arthur had dropped Hafeez in the first four matches of last month’s ODI series against Zimbabwe.

“Hafeez had then refu­sed to play the fifth match in protest,” the source added.

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2018