Hassan, who last played an ODI in 2016, had a decent 2015 World Cup in Australia where he picked up eight wickets in six games. With 56 wickets in 32 ODIs at an average of 20.58, Hassan has an outstanding record in this format, but recurring injuries has kept him out of the game.
“Probably this is going to be my last World Cup for my country. I may stop playing ODI cricket after this tournament. However, I would continue playing T20 cricket, either for Afghanistan or in the Shpageeza League (domestic T20 league) or the leagues abroad," he said in an interview to the Afghanistan Cricket Board.
“As a player who has dedicated all his life to cricket, the decision to quit is always a tough one. However, after a lot of thought, I felt after the injuries and the recovery process I went through, it is time to consider my health seriously.
“If I continue playing further ODI cricket, it may harm my knee. However, if I play four-day cricket, it’ll help me extend my cricket career, enabling me to participate in T20s for Afghanistan.”
Hassan revealed that he has worked really hard in the last few months to regain fitness and deserved a ticket to England.
“It’s a joyous moment for me to return to the national side after three years, and getting the opportunity to participate in this tournament, which is a dream for any cricket player,” said Hassan.
“But I’d also like to tell the fans that I have proven my fitness to earn my place.
“I worked hard for the last six months in various fitness and training camps. I hope I will be able to perform well in the upcoming World Cup and pay back [for the faith]. It was a long gap, and I think there would be very few players who would have returned for a tournament like the World Cup after such a gap.”
Hassan said he wants to retire on a high and that is what prompted him to take a call on his ODI career.
“It’s not that I cannot continue to play cricket. However, when a player goes through injury and recovery process, there are further chances of getting injured again,” he said.
“Every player has to retire one day. There are players in the national team who are senior and are of the same age as me. I think it is better to bid farewell when you’re performing well, and have a good name, before it becomes a burden for the national team.”
Afghanistan will open their World Cup campaign against Australia on June 1 - Hassan’s 32nd birthday.
First Published: May 9, 2019, 3:10 PM IST