- Shoaib Malik wants to retire but will play if Babar Azam asks him to
- The skipper can let him know if he is no longer needed in the team
- Malik feels absolutely fit and can play for years
Shoaib Malik, Pakistan’s all-rounder whose only getting younger with age, has claimed that he wants to retire but would be available if Babar wants him in the team. Malik, who just turned 40, is a honed short format player and has rendered his invaluable services to cricket for a long time now.
Speaking to a cricket site, the all-rounder claimed that he has played enough cricket and would now like to retire and retire with respect, but since the T20 World Cup 2022 is scheduled at the end of the year, he said he will make himself available if the current skipper would ask him to be part of the squad. And even before that, he will play as long as the team requires. Malik proved to be a vital element in Pakistan playing XI in the T20 World Cup 2021
The 40-year-old also admired Babar’s maturity and said he is leading the team very well and knows how to have conversations. He understands when the young players are to play and when experienced needs to be added in the middle.
“As I said, I have clear and open communication with Babar. I have not made up my mind about the World Cup because I want to retire with respect. If Babar asks me to play then I will play otherwise I will step aside respectfully,”
“I have asked Babar to tell me clearly even if my services are no longer required because clarity is the most important thing for every cricketer, especially for those who have served Pakistan cricket for as long as I have,”
“I asked Babar to communicate with me, even if that means playing limited series. He told me to play the series against Bangladesh and I did. Following that, we had a series against West Indies and Babar said he wanted to play a couple of youngsters and I stepped aside and rested for that series,”
Regarding his fitness, the former skipper feels very optimistic and healthy. In the recently concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL) 7, Malik was the fourth-highest run-scorer and also managed to take a few wickets for his franchise Peshawar Zalmi. He opened up on batting in the middle overs.
“You can always improve on fitness but I want to thank God Almighty because, for me, it is something that is naturally instilled in me,”
“I am not claiming that opening is an easy task but in the middle overs, the field restriction is not there. That means you have to rely on running between the wickets a bit more; this is where your fitness truly comes in,”
Currently, Shoaib Malik is the oldest and most experienced player playing for Pakistan. Muhammad Hafeez was there as well but he took retirement this year from all forms of cricket.
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