Shoaib Malik Given a Guard of Honor
As expected, Shoaib Malik announced his retirement from international cricket just minutes after Pakistan ended their frustrating World Cup campaign. Malik, 37 years old, made a moving statement to the Lord’s media on Friday, stressing that it was a sad day for him. “I’m sad because ODI cricket has always been my favorite format”.
Malik was snubbed by the management of the Pakistan team after failing three consecutive matches against England, Australia, and India. Haris Sohail replaced him with South Africa and New Zealand. After Malik’s exit, Pakistan has won four consecutive matches. Still, Pakistan was eliminated from the World Cup due to a lower net return rate.
It is understood that Malik was hoping to play against Bangladesh on Friday to play his final World Cup match against Pakistan. But the Pakistani team’s management has ruled against it. If Malik felt snubbed, he’d better hide it. “You’re doing what’s best for the team”. “Obviously, when you fail, you have to call someone else. In my case, the guy who came in did very well and the team also won four games in a row”.
When asked if he was good enough to continue representing Pakistan at the T20 Internationals, Malik expressed confidence to succeed in the fastest format of the match. “I think T20 cricket is about fitness. Your fielding is the most important criterion and I think I can do the same in all the areas required. Also, I don’t like to drag things out. If I think I’m not good enough, I’ll also leave T20 cricket.
The current World Cup was a huge disappointment for Malik. He made eight against England and then fell to zero in the home-and-away matches against Australia and India. His golden ball duck against India at Old Trafford on 16 June proved to be the last of his ODI career. Malik, who is a former Pakistani captain, played 237 OIDs, scoring 7534 points and 158 wickets. Shoaib Malik also played 35 Tests and 111 Twenty20 Internationals for Pakistan.