Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has announced that he will retire from international cricket after the T20 World Cup.

Hafeez was recalled for the upcoming three-match T20 series against Bangladesh on Thursday.

The 39-year-old revealed a day later that he will end his long international career after gracing one last major tournament in Australia, if selected.

"It has been a privilege," Hafeez told media.

"I want to play the T20 World Cup and then exit from Pakistan's international team."

Hafeez ended his Test career in December 2018 after playing 55 times in the longest format, having scored 3,652 runs - including 10 centuries - and taken 53 wickets.

The veteran has appeared in 218 ODIs, making 6,614 runs and claiming 139 scalps, and has played 89 times in the shortest format - picking up 54 wickets and amassing 1,908 runs.

Hafeez has been banned from bowling in international cricket on three occasions due to an illegal action.

He added: "I have played 17 years for Pakistan and tried my level best. At times I missed my bowling."

The T20 World Cup commences on October 18.

AB de Villiers says he would "love" to make a South Africa comeback but says talk of him playing in the T20 World Cup is premature.

The maverick batsman announced his retirement from international cricket in May 2018 as he had "run out of gas."

Mark Boucher said it would be remiss of him not to try to tempt De Villiers, who turns 36 next month, to play for his country again after he was appointed as Proteas head coach last month.

Captain Faf du Plessis has also spoken of his hope that one of South Africa's greatest ever players will grace the international stage again and talks had been held over a return.

De Villiers is not getting ahead of himself, but would jump at the chance to feature in the T20 World Cup in Australia this year.

"There's a lot that needs to happen before that becomes reality," he said after scoring a quickfire 40 on his Big Bash League debut for Brisbane Heat in a thrashing of Adelaide Strikers on Tuesday.

"I would love to. I've been talking to Bouch, Graeme Smith [South Africa director of cricket] and Faf back home, we're all keen to make it happen.

"It's a long way away still, and plenty can happen – there's the IPL coming up, I've still got to be in form at that time. 

"So I'm thinking of throwing my name in the hat and hoping that everything will work out. 

"It's not a guarantee, once again. I don't want to disappoint myself or other people, so for now I'm just going to try and keep a low profile, try and play the best possible cricket that I can and then see what happens towards the end of the year."

De Villiers appeared in 114 Tests for his country, with 228 ODI and 78 T20s under his belt.

Dwayne Bravo can act as a mentor to boost West Indies' death bowling after earning a recall for their Twenty20 international series against Ireland, according to lead selector Roger Harper.

The veteran all-rounder announced he was coming out of international retirement for T20s last December in the hope of playing at the T20 World Cup in Australia this year.

Bravo last represented the Windies against Pakistan in September 2016 and has 1,142 runs and 52 wickets in 66 T20Is.

Speaking about Bravo's recall, Harper said it was his work with the ball that was key in the decision.

"Dwayne Bravo was recalled with the specific intention of bolstering our 'death' bowling, which was identified as an area that really needs improving," he said. 

"His record in this department speaks for itself. He will also be able to act as a mentor to the other 'death' bowlers and lend his experience wherever needed."

Jason Holder is rested for the three-match series, while all-rounder Rovman Powell is recalled.

Squad in full: Kieron Pollard (c), Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Khary Pierre, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford, Lendl Simmons, Hayden Walsh jr., Kesrick Williams.

 

MS Dhoni will soon officially call time on his ODI career but could still feature at the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year, according to India coach Ravi Shastri.

Dhoni is a veteran of 448 internationals across the limited overs formats, and captained India to glory at the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 and the 2011 World Cup - the latter an unforgettable triumph on home soil.

The 38-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has not featured for India since their semi-final loss to New Zealand at last year's World Cup and he is currently on a break from the game.

Rishabh Pant has taken the gloves for India in white-ball cricket but the Dhoni era might not be over just yet.

"I have had a conversation with MS and that is between us," Shastri told News18. "He has finished his Test career, he may soon end his ODI career. So he will be left with T20, he will definitely play the IPL.

"One thing I know about Dhoni is that he will not impose himself on the team. But if he has a cracking IPL, well, then... 

"We will have to consider the person’s experience and form. They will bat in the number five or six position. If Dhoni plays well in IPL, then he does put himself in contention."

A return to Dhoni could be welcoming in some quarters, given criticism that has been levelled at Pant's glovework and his failure to convert starts into decisive contributions with the bat.

Pant averages 20.50 from 25 T20I innings, but Shastri is backing the youngster.

"How many 22-year-old wicket-keepers have made 100s? He hasn’t dropped many catches and everyone is entitled to make mistakes," he added.

"As he matures he will get better. These things don't happen overnight. There is no question that he is a match-winner.

"Talent is there, he is doing everything to cash in. He is working hard on his wicketkeeping."

Lasith Malinga would be open to retiring from Twenty20 internationals later this year, so long as he has helped Sri Lanka reach the T20 World Cup.

Paceman Malinga has already retired from Test and one-day cricket at international level, yet he intends to lead the team at this year's World Cup, the tournament they won in 2014.

Sri Lanka must come through a four-team group in the first round - playing Ireland, Papua New Guinea and Oman - in order to reach the Super 12 stage.

Malinga is willing to step aside whenever Sri Lanka ask him to, but he wants to see his nation safely through the qualifying stage in Australia.

"I've already retired from Tests and one-dayers," he told a news conference ahead of a T20 meeting with India. "It's [about] whatever is required for Sri Lanka cricket.

"If they say it's enough for me now then I'll be really happy to retire from T20 cricket also.

"But my only target is to be able to play the qualifying [first] round at the World Cup. If I play the qualifying round and the Sri Lanka team qualify for the World Cup, after that, I wouldn't mind any time I retire."

Sunday's opening T20 will see Malinga come up against Mumbai Indians team-mate Jasprit Bumrah.

The India star is the world's top-ranked ODI bowler, but he is making his return from a back injury and Malinga suggests that his lay-off could play in Sri Lanka's favour.

"As the number one [ODI] bowler, he's got the skill and accuracy," the veteran said. "But he's coming [back] after the injury and hasn't played much cricket for five or six months.

"After the injury, most of the bowlers struggle for the first few matches. We want to make that an advantage for us."

Indian cult hero Irfan Pathan has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.

The 35-year-old starred in India's 2007 ICC World Twenty20 final against Pakistan, taking 3-16 to help steer his country to victory in South Africa. 

All-rounder Irfan first shot to stardom back in 2003 when he claimed figures of 9-16 for India Under-19s against Bangladesh, earning him a spot in the senior squad for a tour of Australia.

He confirmed his decision to call it quits in an interview on Star Sports on Saturday.

"I am announcing retirement from all forms of cricket," said Irfan. "I have been fortunate to share the dressing room with greats of the game like [Sourav] Ganguly, [Rahul] Dravid and [VVS] Laxman. I am calling time on my career.

"I would like to thank my family for providing much-needed support. I would like to thank my fans. They have always hoped for my comeback. Their support has kept me going."

Irfan, who last played on the international stage in 2012, featured in 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20s for his country.

Faf du Plessis says AB de Villiers has already held discussions over a potential South Africa comeback.

De Villiers retired from international cricket in May 2018, stating he had "run out of gas".

New Proteas head coach Mark Boucher said it would be remiss of him not to try to tempt one of South Africa's greatest batsman to have a change of heart, with the T20 World Cup on the horizon next year.

South Africa captain Du Plessis revealed talks with the 35-year-old started a few months ago.

"People want AB to play and I am no different," said Du Plessis, speaking to reporters after playing for Paarl Rocks against Tshwane Spartans in the Mzansi Super League final.

"Those conversations have been happening for two or three months already: What does it look like? How does it look over the next year? And that's where it starts.

"T20 cricket is a different beast, it's not a lot of time away from home. If you are a full campaigner, you have to really get stuck in and spend a lot of time on the road.

"Test cricket now is the most important thing but also the T20 World Cup is not too far away and there isn't a lot - I reckon 20 T20s over the season - which won't be that hard on one to do that.

"Those conversations have already taken place and will continue to before the next T20 series starts."

De Villiers is set to make his Big Bash League debut for Brisbane Heat next month.

Former West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo has come out of Twenty20 International retirement at the age of 36.

The all-rounder has not played for the Windies for over three years but is hoping to force his way into the defending champions' squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.

Bravo revealed he would only be available to play international cricket in the shortest format.

He posted on Instagram: "Today I confirm the announcement of my decision to return to international cricket to all my fans and well-wishers all around the world.

"It's no secret that this big announcement has come as a result of the changes made at the administration level.

"For a while now I have been contemplating my return to international cricket and my decision was solidified by these positive changes.

"With the current leadership of coach Phil Simmons and captain Kieron Pollard I'm really excited about this come back and about the chance to be part of something really special.

"We have a lot of young talent on the team as well as cricketers with a wealth of experience such as Pollard, [Lendl] Simmons and Jason Holder and I believe that I can contribute to a positive change.

"With a powerful team such as ours we can definitely rebuild the WI T20 cricket team on and off the field and improve our rankings. I will remain fully committed to WI T20 team once selected."

Bravo took 3-37 in the Windies' dramatic T20 World Cup final win over England in 2016.

Quinton de Kock expects Faf du Plessis to captain South Africa in the ICC T20 World Cup next year but says he would grab the opportunity "with both hands" if he was asked to take over.

De Kock led the Proteas in a drawn Twenty20 series with India in September as Du Plessis was given a rest.

The wicketkeeper-batsman will also skipper Cape Town Blitz in the Mzansi Super League, but he believes Du Plessis will lead his country in Australia next year.

De Kock told ESPNcricinfo: "The way I see it is that I was just a replacement. That's the way I took it. For now, it's still Faf's baby. But maybe if things change and they do want me to do it, then I will do it.

"For the moment, I am not looking too far ahead. I am just trying to look at how I can help out with the youngsters, with the new guys in the T20 team and by myself, just getting better and getting ready for the T20 World Cup next year.

"But if that does come upon me, then I will try to grab it with both hands."

De Kock says South Africa can take inspiration from the way England turned around their fortunes in limited-overs cricket to win the Cricket World Cup this year.

"We are not the first team that has gone through a transition," De Kock said. "England did it after their last World Cup and look at them. Four years later, they end up winning the thing.

"It's alright if the whole country and guys are a bit down and out but when we all gather together, especially after winning this Rugby World Cup, a lot of people are pumped up.

"[People] want to get this transition going so, by the time we get to our next World Cup, we can really put ourselves in a good stead, just like England did."

Papua New Guinea dug themselves out of a hole to beat Kenya by 45 runs and qualify for the ICC T20 World Cup for the first time on Sunday.

PNG's hopes of securing direct qualification for the tournament in Australia next year were looking slim when they were reduced to 19-6 in Dubai, Emmanuel Bundi (4-18) taking three wickets in his first over.

A half-century from Norman Vanua (54 off 48 balls) enabled PNG - ranked 17th in the shortest format - to post 118 all out and that proved to be more than enough.

Kenya were going along nicely on 40-1, but only three batsmen made double figures as they were skittled out for just 73.

Nosaina Pokana (3-21) and Assad Vala (3-7) took three wickets apiece on a historic day for PNG, who finished top of Group A on net run rate ahead of Netherlands.

Netherlands defeated Scotland by four wickets but will have to go through the play-offs.

David Warner marked his return to the international Twenty20 arena with a stunning maiden century as Australia eased past Sri Lanka by 134 runs in their opening game.

Warner was back in the T20 fold for the first time since the infamous ball-tampering saga, in which the star Australia batsman served a year-long suspension.

Having already made his Test and ODI comeback, birthday boy Warner capped his T20 return with an unbeaten hundred in his 71st appearance against touring Sri Lanka in Adelaide on Sunday.

Warner led Australia to a record-breaking victory, surpassing last year's 100-run win over Zimbabwe, and their highest T20 total on home soil – 233-2 – before hapless Sri Lanka only managed 99-9 in response at Adelaide Oval.

After a forgettable Ashes series in England which only yielded 95 runs across five matches, Warner was desperate to return to form as the Australian summer got underway.

Warner was back to his brilliant best on his 33rd birthday as the big-hitting star scored 100 runs from just 56 balls in game one of the three-match series against Sri Lanka – bringing up his ton from the last delivery of the innings.

The tone was set by Warner and captain Aaron Finch (64) after Sri Lanka opted to bowl first, with the opening pair combining for 122 runs from just 10.5 overs and reaching their half-centuries in the same over.

Finch and Warner smacked consecutive sixes from Kasun Rajitha – who finished with figures of 0-75 from four overs for the most expensive spell in T20 history – before the former was caught at deep midwicket off the bowling of Lakshan Sandakan (1-41).

Glenn Maxwell (62) then joined Warner at the crease as the duo put on 107 runs from just 52 balls, though Maxwell was dismissed by Dasun Shanaka (1-10) in the last over.

Sri Lanka made a nightmare start to their run chase after Kusal Mendis fell victim to Mitchell Starc (2-18) for a duck in the first over, before the visitors were left reeling at 13-3 in the four over as Pat Cummins (2-27) wreaked havoc.

Shanaka was Sri Lanka's highest score with 17 on putrid day for Sri Lanka, with spinner Adam Zampa (3-14) cleaning up the final three wickets, while Maxwell produced a stunning piece of fielding to run out Wanindu Hasaranga (5).

Sarfraz Ahmed has been sacked as Pakistan's Test and Twenty20 captain, also losing his place in the squad for both formats.

Pakistan have endured a difficult 2019, with a poor start to the Cricket World Cup group stage meaning a late charge was not enough to secure their place in the semi-finals.

Sarfraz's sacking comes in the wake of a 3-0 T20 defeat to Sri Lanka, as the world's top-ranked side in the shortest format succumbed to a series whitewash.

While a decision on the captaincy for the 50-over format has been put on hold for now, Sarfraz – who retained his position last month despite his performances coming under scrutiny – has been removed as the team's skipper ahead of their Test and T20 tour of Australia, which starts in November.

Azhar Ali – who was white-ball captain prior to Sarfraz – will replace the wicketkeeper-batsman as Test skipper, while Babar Azam will take charge of the T20 side until the 2020 World Cup.

In a statement released by the Pakistan Cricket Board, Azhar said: "There is no bigger honour than to captain the Pakistan national cricket team in the pinnacle format of the game.

"I feel humbled, excited and privileged, and with the support of the team, look forward to justifying the faith that has been entrusted upon me for the World Test Championship.

"Sarfraz has done an excellent job in transforming raw talent into experienced players, and I now look forward to inspiring those skilful players.

"These are exciting times in Pakistan cricket with a new team management."

Pakistan dismissed their head coach and chief selector following the World Cup, with Misbah-ul-Haq taking over both positions.

Captain Mohammad Naveed is one of three United Arab Emirates internationals who have been provisionally suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) following alleged multiple breaches of its anti-corruption rules.

Naveed has been charged with two breaches of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Code, including "contriving, or being party to an agreement or effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of matches in the upcoming ICC World T20 Qualifiers".

His other charge relates to the failure to disclose details of "any approaches or invitations received" that "would amount to corrupt conduct". Both of those charges have also been levelled at fellow UAE international Shaiman Anwar.

A similar two charges for breaches of the Emirates Cricket Board's [ECB] code have been handed to Naveed in relation to the T10 League.

Bowler Qadeer Ahmed has been charged with six breaches of ICC laws, one of which relates to him "disclosing inside information [...] where he knew or should have known that the information might be used for betting purposes".

The players have 14 days to respond to the charges.

In addition, Mehardeep Chhayakar, described by the ICC as a "participant in cricket from Ajman", was also charged with one breach of the ICC code for "failing or refusing to cooperate with an investigation". 

The announcement came just two days before UAE host the 14-team qualifying tournament for next year’s ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.

Naveed, 32, was apologetic for his actions.

"I am very since about my game. I am very sincere about my career," he told The National.

"Now this has happened I feel guilty. Why did I not talk to the board? Why did I not talk to the ICC? It's my mistake and I feel guilty.

"My family and friends are let down. Everybody is let down. This was my mistake."

A statement from The Emirates Cricket Board said: "The board fully supports the ICC and the ICC anti-corruption unit in their efforts and denounces any activities of corruption.

"The board will wait for the conclusion of proceedings before making further comment."

Nathan Lyon is refusing to give up hope on featuring for Australia at their home ICC Men's T20 World Cup despite missing out on selection against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

The spinner has only made two T20I appearances for his country – the last of those coming a year ago – and is not included for his country's upcoming series in 20-over cricket.

But Lyon, Australia's third-highest wicket-taker in Tests, still wants to play in all three formats and will continue to make himself available.

"Definitely I want to put my hand up for all games of cricket, especially for Australia," he said.

"Whatever game I play cricket for, I just need to make sure I'm doing my job and if I keep putting my hand up for selection, who knows where that may lead to?"

Lyon, who was facing a similar battle prior to the 50-over World Cup before entering as Australia's front-line spinner, insists there is no issue with chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns.

"He just called me and told me I wasn't in," he added.

"But I had a really good chat to Cracker [Hohns] – I get along really well with him – so if I have any issues with Cracker, I'll just pick up the phone.

"There's no doubt. I have the absolute utmost respect for him so there's no dramas there."

Chris Silverwood has already identified England's areas for improvement in Test cricket in an aim to fulfil Ashley Giles' target of becoming "the most respected team in the world".

Silverwood has been appointed as England's new head coach, replacing Trevor Bayliss, who delivered limited-overs success, winning the Cricket World Cup at home earlier this year.

While director of cricket Giles insists England are "not moving all our focus back onto Test cricket", urging the need to find a "balance", there is a desire to improve results in the longest format.

Under Bayliss, Joe Root's side could only draw at home in the Ashes, while they suffered series defeats away to West Indies, New Zealand, Australia and India.

Silverwood, previously the bowling coach, told a news conference: "I think we'll become [the most respected team] by being successful and building on the white-ball success we've had.

"We talk about prioritising red-ball cricket, but let's not forget we do have two big white-ball tournaments coming up.

"But moving the Test team forward, we're going to have to look at batting for long periods of time, then continuing to build the bowling attack where we can be successful and consistent in winning away from home as well.

"Equally, I think it's in the way we play as well. It's the way you win that helps make you the most respected team in the world, so we'll keep driving the culture behind the scenes and make sure that, when we're on the park, we are role models to everybody else out there as well."

Pushed further on England's batting order, Silverwood acknowledged there is work to do on the basics.

England have struggled to identify an opening combination since Alastair Cook's retirement, with Jason Roy the latest to fail, although Rory Burns and Joe Denly hinted at a partnership towards the end of the home series against Australia.

"It certainly needs work moving forward," Silverwood said. "One of the things we'll be looking at is building a batting group that can bat for long periods of time, stack runs up and put pressure on.

"Yes, it sounds a little bit old fashioned, but I think we need to recognise that we need to look at that - and make sure we've got the right people in the right places to achieve that as well."

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