Pakistan lost in Asia Cup final 2022 against Sri Lanka after their batting collapse. There were only three batters who scored in double figures. Pakistan was all out at 147 in chasing 171 in Dubai. Pakistan’s middle order was exposed again when they failed to handle the pressure. People talked about more deserving players like Shan Masood, and Shoaib Malik should be on the team. Shoaib Malik is above 40 and has over 22 years of international cricket experience. He made his debut in 1999 against West Indies. Pakistan played only one T20I this year before Asia Cup in September. In Pakistan’s last series in 2022, Shoaib Malik was part of the squad. His exclusion from one of the major tournaments has raised the eyeballs.
Shoaib Malik’s Old Interview
A six-month-old video interview of Shoaib Malik with Cricket Pakistan is going viral. He has made some shocking revelations over his conversations with captain Babar Azam regarding the Asia Cup selection. In the video, Shoaib said Babar asked me if I wanted to retire. He said,
“Yes, I talked to Babar. He asked me if I wanted to retire when we were at the (T20) World Cup (2021). See, there should be a transparent conversation on these things; everyone should know what I want. I’ve played for so many years; I think I deserve that much. There must be some clarity on what the board wants and what the player wants.”
Shoaib Malik continued,
“I told him, Babar, considering the environment right now and whatever happened with me during the recent past, I don’t want to play. If you want an answer on my fitness or whether I could be a burden on team, there’s nothing like that. You know my fitness. If you want me to play, though, I will be available for Pakistan.”
We Both Mutually Agreed, But…
Shoaib revealed that both mutually agreed on Babar Azam making the final call to play Shoaib on selective series or matches. He added,
“(I said), ‘if you want me to play selected matches or series, I want you to communicate that to me. If you think I can play longer, I am available,’ He said ‘okay, you play. I will let you know which series you will play. We talked about this during the World Cup right before we had the series against Bangladesh. Before the Windies series, he said he wanted to test some new guys, so he rested me.
Before the one-off Australia T20I, he told me that I will tell you. I told Babar, ‘if you think I’m not needed anymore, you can tell me. I understand that there are new players coming up. I will be happy to step aside’.”
Shoaib Malik also showed his displeasure and disappointment at former Pakistan cricketers not getting the ‘deserved’ respect after their retirement. He concluded,
“In recent past, there have been many legends in our country who didn’t receive the send-off they deserved. Every cricketer wants that. Mohammad Hafeez retired recently, and we could have showed a small gesture in way of a trophy or a souvenir to him during the PSL to thank him for his services.”
Pakistan squad for the T20 World Cup has been announced, and there is no Shoaib Malik in the team. Here is the team for the T20 World Cup.
Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, and Usman Qadir.
Do you guys think that it is the end of Shoaib Malik’s marathon cricketing career? Does he deserve to play T20 World Cup? Let us know in the comments below.