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Wasim Akram says Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik can have farewell dinner, not match

On being asked whether 20-year-veteran Shoaib Malik should get a farewell game in the World Cup, former Pakistan World Cup-winner, Wasim Akram had said that he can have a "farewell dinner" instead.

Shoaib Malik has played in 287 ODIs in a career spanning 20 years. (Source: Twitter)

After defeating South Africa, New Zealand and Afghanistan in the second half of their World Cup campaign, Pakistan made a commendable comeback to come close to qualifying for the semi-finals. While the likes of Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir and Haris Sohail earned plaudits from their fans, veteran cricketer Shoaib Malik failed to live up to his reputation, which infuriated many.

Malik, who announced that the World Cup would be his last appearance on the international stage, scored just 8 runs in three innings. He scored 8 against England, and followed it up with two consecutive ducks against Australia and India. And Akram was clear that he’s done nothing to earn a spot in the squad.

“This is not club cricket that you call a cricketer for a final match. We can absolutely have a farewell dinner for him,” Akram said.

Wasim followed it up by adding that despite his poor showing at the World Cup, he should be remembered for his contribution to Pakistan cricket.

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“Unfortunately for him, he is not ending his career on a high – which he deserved, as he has done a lot for Pakistan cricket. He had a poor World Cup, was dismissed on duck twice, but this can happen to anyone. But we should remember his services for Pakistan cricket. He has won many matches for Pakistan and at the end of the day, he is a nice guy. Let’s send him a nice farewell for once. It’s true that he did not perform well, but nobody does it on purpose,” the former pacer added.

Before the Bangaldesh game, when asked whether Malik would get a final outing, Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed replied, “We haven’t seen the pitch yet and we will play our best combination.”

Shoaib Malik did not feature in the playing XI of Pakistan at Lord’s on Friday, which confirmed his final appearance in the World Cup was against India, which his team lost by 89 runs.

In order to qualify for the final four, Pakistan needed to achieve the impossible by registering a record win against Bangladesh, who played consistently throught the World Cup. The highlight of Bangladesh’s campaign was chasing 322 to beat West Indies by 7 wickets.