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Don’t know why I was dropped, hopeful about playing T20 World Cup: Shoaib Malik

The all-rounder said that he is performing and his fitness is up to the mark

Don’t know why I was dropped, hopeful about playing T20 World Cup: Shoaib Malik PHOTO: AFP

Veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik is still unaware of the reason behind his exclusion from Pakistan T20I squad after he last represented the national team on England tour in 2020.

While speaking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Malik said that he is performing and his fitness is up to mark, which should be the main criteria for selection.

“I don’t understand why I was dropped from the team. I don’t want to drag this issue. It doesn’t matter how much your age is. You should meet the team’s criteria in terms of performance, fitness. Most importantly, as a senior player if you keep the environment of dressing room healthy and respect your management and young players, then nothing else matters,” Malik said.

“Mohammad Hafeez is performing very well for the team and I have seen him guide the new players. If a senior player like him is in your team, then it gives confidence to team management and players,” he added.

Malik was also optimistic about playing the T20 World Cup, later this year.

“I still believe that I can be useful in the T20 format. I’m not thinking that I won’t play the [T20] World Cup, I’m still hopeful about featuring in the World Cup and giving my all. I have always performed to the best of my ability for my teammates and my team but I don’t like to create fuss. I just stick to one direction and give it my best shot. Whenever a young captain, young player and management has needed me, I have always been available,” he said.

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Malik called for more clarity in selection and also revealed the details regarding his discussions with current chief selector, Mohammad Wasim, at two different time periods.

“I had a discussion with him twice. In our first chat, I had a very open discussion with him, in which he said that I should play in the top four in the batting-order. I agreed with him that it also suits my game. There is no doubt that I have played and performed while batting at number five with a good strike-rate. At that time, Pakistan had around 14 T20Is left before the T20 World Cup, so he said they will try some other players in half of them and then see the team combination,” he said.

“Then recently I had another discussion with him, in which I said to him that Pakistan team is currently struggling to find a suitable batsman at number five and I am available to bat at that number, to which he agreed and said that they are also thinking along the same lines. Now let’s see what happens, but it was a very good discussion and in a good environment. In our two discussions so far, he never said that I am not in their plans,” he concluded.