January 22, 2020 8:08:56 pm
Senior Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik on Wednesday said his previous announcement of quitting international cricket after this Year’s T20 World Cup is not cast in stone and he might continue if his body permits.
The veteran, who turns 38 on February 1, was speaking to reporters in Lahore. He retired from Test cricket in 2015 after scoring a double hundred in a home series against England in the UAE and bid adieu to ODIs after the World Cup but is still active in the T20 format.
“Yes I had said I will retire from ODI cricket after the World Cup (in 2019) and I did that and I also said I might retire completely after the World Cup T20. But right now I think it is about short-term goals when the time comes I will think about it,” he said.
“As a senior player I have a responsibility and goal and thankfully my body is supporting me in my career and I will continue to play till I feel good about it. I am not someone who will hang around just for the sake of it,” he asserted.
Malik admitted that he was upset after being criticised for a poor World Cup and for being ignored for the national T20 squad.
“I am a human being and I can also fail and yes I can also have negative thoughts and get angry for what happened. My performances in the World Cup were not good but I have always performed well in the T20 format,” Malik said.
Malik and senior teammate Muhammad Hafeez won surprise recalls to the Pakistan T20 squad for the home series against Bangladesh after being constantly ignored after the World Cup.
Malik said he was not disappointed or upset anymore.
“I am not insecure and I am sure that as long as I am fit I can achieve anything. My goal has always been to be good enough to play for my country. I wanted to make a comeback that is why after the Caribbean Premier League, I reached Faisalabad and played in the National T20 event.”
“Whatever happened, I have forgotten and moved on. A new team management has come in and I think they were right in giving chances to other players and trying to build a balanced outfit,” he said.
Malik, who has appeared in 111 T20 internationals, also made it clear he was not disappointed at not being given a central contract by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
“We have lot of youngsters coming through. So they looked at it that way and this time they have also reduced the number of players who were given central contracts,” he pointed out.
Malik also insisted that he was not thinking about the World T20 in Australia and only focusing on the Bangladesh series.
“I am not thinking about the World Cup. I will try to give my best at whatever opportunity I get now. I have not set long-term goals as the World Cup is far away.
“I just want to perform and help groom the youngsters in the dressing room. I and Hafeez want to share our experiences with them,” he said.