Former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik has been representing his nation since 1999. It is a rare scenario, given all his counterparts and teammates have retired from the game and started different innings in life. Some of them have either taken commentary or coaching jobs. Malik is the only player to play seven 20-20 World Cups from 2007 to 2021. Even at the age of 40, the right-hander is still one of the fittest athletes.
The Sialkot-born player started his international career with an ODI debut against the West Indies. At that time, Wasim Akram was leading the team and is now the President of the Karachi Kings franchise in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Two years later, he made his Test debut against Bangladesh under Waqar Younis, who is working as a commentator and also did four coaching stints with the national team.
The former skipper from 2007 to 2009 also led the limited-overs side, with the team reaching the inaugural 20-20 World Cup, where they lost to India. The veteran bid adieu to Tests in 2015 and ODIs in 2019. Last year, he became the only player to play seven 20-20 World Cups. Meanwhile, Malik revealed that despite being on the wrong side of age, he has justified his place with solid performances with bat and ball.
â€œDespite my age, no one can claim that I am a liability. I have delivered the performance at the highest level, especially in the T20 format, and I have proved my worth with the bat and ball. Also, no one can question me even in terms of fielding.â€
Malik also said that he had a clear discussion with Babar Azam about his place in the team and asked him to have clear communication. Malik said he is ready to do what the captain wants from him, even if it is playing the selected series. Malik also opened up on whether or not he will play the 20-20 World cup in Australia or not.
“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,” he said.
“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,” he concluded.