Veteran Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik could not understand the idea of leaving him from the squad for Pakistan’s upcoming tour of New Zealand. Pakistan, who have already reached the shores of New Zealand, have embroiled themselves in controversy for not being compliant with the isolation protocols. The selectors did not pick Shoaib Malik for the three T20Is, scheduled to begin from the 17th of December.
Shoaib Malik, who retired from ODI cricket at the end of 2019 World Cup and Tests much earlier, last played for Pakistan in the T20 series in England. Malik scored 14 in the only innings he batted out of the two T20s that was completed in the tour. While the selectors opted for Mohammad Hafeez, who is yet another seasoned all-rounder, they refused to pick Malik. With 116 T20I matches under his belt, the 38-year old is the most-capped player in the format.
Shoaib Malik revealed that there was no communication from the selectors for not opting for him for the tour of New Zealand. Malik, who is currently playing for Jaffna Stallions in the Lanka Premier League sees it as a great opportunity and is putting his full focus in the same. The Punjab-born cricketer added that he has played enough cricketer to know what should be his focus and not retiring anytime soon.
“If I am not part of the national team, only the chief selector can answer this I have no idea. There wasn’t any communication from them but of course I don’t want to go into the (dwell on) negative side and just stay positive. I have a great opportunity in my hands that is the Lanka Premier League and my total focus is on the league and I don’t want to focus on where I’m not present. I have played enough cricket and I feel whatever you have in your hand you should focus on that. I have no intentions of retiring from this format so far but let’s see how it goes,” Malik said as quoted by Hindustan Times.
He can make his own team for different formats: Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik applauded the decision of Pakistan Cricket Board to appoint Babar Azam as the all-format captain and calls for a longer rope of at least the next three years. The 38-year old feels that backing the captain in challenging times is quite crucial to achieve consistent results and want to see him bat well while as captain too.
“It’s a great move which the PCB has taken. They should announce him as captain for the next three years at least. He can make his own team for different formats. It is important for the board to instil confidence in Babar that they are there to back him in tough times. Providing confidence to your captain and players should be the first priority and then we can expect consistent results from him. He has been performing so well in all three formats I’d like to see him do the same in captaincy as well,” the veteran added.