Shoaib Malik reveals retirement chat with Babar Azam
Shoaib Malik (PC: Twitter)
Pakistan cricket team suffered a heartbreaking loss in the final of the Asia Cup against Sri Lanka by 23 runs. Playing at the Dubai International Stadium, the Green Army ended up with just 147 runs, while chasing a target of 171 runs. The batting collapse put the team under scrutiny with the cricket pundits and fans analysing what went wrong with the side.
Middle-order batting emerged as the major concern for the Green Army in the T20 extravaganza. Pakistan have a strong top order including skipper Babar Azam, wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, and number three Fakhar Zaman. However, the team is heavily dependent on their top three as the middle-order lacks experience.
As middle-order batters struggled to score runs, it reminded the cricket fraternity of the exclusion of Shoaib Malik from the side. The veteran was a part of the Pakistan squad for the T20I series against Bangladesh last year. However, he was not considered for the Asia Cup, which didn’t make sense to a lot of people.
Malik reflects on his future with the Pakistan team
Meanwhile, Malik’s old video has gone viral on social media, where he spoke at length regarding his future cricket plans. In the six-month-old video, the batter reflected on his chat with skipper Babar Azam following the conclusion of the T20 World Cup 2021.
Malik said, as quoted by Hindustan Times,
“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.
“So, Babar asked me that. 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 the team, there's nothing like that. You know my fitness. If you want me to play, though, I will be available for Pakistan.”
Further, the 40-year-old revealed that Babar told him that they want to experiment with some new players in the team but will keep the batter in the loop for some selected series. Meanwhile, the Sialkot-born also seemed miffed with the treatment of former players in Pakistan. Malik believes that the legendary cricketers should be given a respectful send-off from the team with proper communication.