Friday 18 March 2011 

Shoaib Akhtar To Retire Following Cricket World Cup

Shoaib Akhtar To Retire Following Cricket World Cup
Shoaib Akhtar To Retire Following Cricket World Cup
© REUTERS/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds (SRI LANKA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET HEADSHOT) Picture Supplied by Action Images
 

Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has confirmed that he will retire from playing international cricket following the conclusion of the World Cup 2011.

Akhtar announced the decision at the R. Premadesa Stadium in Colombo, where Pakistan are set to meet Australia in their final group game.

They have already qualified for the quarter-finals, and Akhtar, who was once timed bowling at 100 miles per hour, hopes his last game will be the World Cup final in Mumbai.

"I have decided to retire. Mentally I wanted to go on forever but I have decided to make way for the youngsters," he said.

"I have no regrets. I made lots of friends but some people have misunderstood me. I thank all the players who played with me and against me,.

"It was an honour to have played with Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. I never imagined I would play for Pakistan. It was my greatest moment.

"Pakistan's last match in this World Cup will also be my last. I hope that will be the final on April 2."

Akhtar, whose career has been dogged by controversies, including being sent home from the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 following an altercation with fellow fast bowler Mohammad Asif, has taken 241 wickets in 158 One-Day Internationals for Pakistan and has also played in 46 Test matches.

® Cricket World 2011