England international Zafar Ansari bid adieu the cricket at the age of 25 to bring a big change to his career. The Pakistani origin all-rounder, who played three Tests and a One Day International (ODI) for England, wants to pursue a law degree.
The Surrey cricketer’s decision to ditch cricket over a law degree surprised the cricket fraternity. He made his ODI debut against Ireland in 2015 and Test debut in 2016 against Bangladesh. He also played in India during four-match Test series against India. He was rated highly by England senior cricketers.
Ansari, graduate in politics, Philosophy and Sociology from Cambridge University, explained his retirement in a statement on Surrey’s official website.
“This has been a very difficult decision to make and I have not made it lightly,” he stated. “I started playing for Surrey at the age of eight and the club has been a hugely important part of my life since then.
“Surrey have always completely supported me and I am extremely grateful to the club for their backing over the years. It is, therefore, with great sadness that I say goodbye.
“Nevertheless, I have always been clear that when the time was right for me to move on I would, and that time has now come. While the timing may come as a surprise, I have always maintained that cricket was just one part of my life and that I have other ambitions that I want to fulfill.
“With that in mind, I am now exploring another career, potentially in law, and to achieve this I have to begin the process now.”
Ansari has three first-class hundreds to his name and six five-wicket hauls. He had very good chance of shining for England at the highest level from a young age and progressed through the academy ranks at Surrey.
Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart, a former England captain, said: “Zafar’s exceptionally tough but considered decision is one that we should all respect and understand.
“To retire at such a young age when his cricket career was progressing very nicely, earning a Test debut against Bangladesh last winter, proves that he has given great thought in deciding to walk away from the professional game.”