LAHORE    -   Former Pakistan captain Azhar Ali has said that he is not considering a return to limited-overs cricket.

“At the moment, I have no plans to reverse my decision of retirement from one day cricket and I have not thought about it at this stage,” he told reporters here on Thursday after a session of the pre-season cricket camp.

On a volley of questions on the same issue (taking back retirement), he said: “It is a very difficult question to answer knowing that many cricketers in the world have taken back the decision of retirement but I have taken this decision after a though consideration and stands by my decision. “I decided to retire from one day cricket as I could not see my future in that format of the game and it is not easy to re-consider such a decision,” he added.

To a query regarding his possible appointment as Pakistan Test captain, he said that it is premature to even assume at this stage that he will be among the candidates to be considered for captaincy in Test cricket. “The new selection committee has not yet been selected, nor the team management has been finalized, so such a thought at this stage is not fair or wise,” said Azhar.

“I want to play cricket as long as I am engaged with the game and I will be doing my best to justify my inclusion in the team based on my performance and fitness,” he said and added: “However, I will continue to play all formats in domestic cricket and to live up to the expectations.”

He praised the decision of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to conduct the pre-season training camp saying, “It will help the players to tune up for the domestic season as well as to get into shape and rhythm for the coming international cricket assignments.”

He agreed to a questioner that Pakistan’s performance in the test cricket has gone down and attributed it to various reasons saying, “The PCB has taken a number of steps to address this issue by revamping the existing domestic structure which will help is enhancing the quality of the domestic cricket, helping the players to play longer innings and to adopt the longest version of the game with a mindset required in the Test cricket.”

Replying to another query, he said that he enjoyed playing county cricket in England and improved the level of the game and now he is looking forward to playing for Pakistan giving his best.

To another query regarding the new head of the national cricket team, he said: “I am confident that the PCB will make a good decision regarding the selection of the best professionals for coaching jobs.

“Among the coaching candidates, who have applied for the different specialized coaching assignments, are those with whom he has played cricket and looks forward that a capable group of professionals will take over the coaching jobs to elevate Pakistan team’s performance,” he concluded.