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Malik backs PCB’s decision to not award him a central contract

All-rounder appreciated the new Pakistan team management for giving opportunity to deserving youngsters

PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Pakistan’s veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik has backed the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB’s) decision to not award a central contract to him and 39-year-old Mohammad Hafeez.

While speaking to media in Lahore on Wednesday, Malik appreciated the new Pakistan team management for giving opportunity to deserving youngsters in Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).

"I think it was a good decision by the board to not give Hafeez and me a central contract,” said Malik. “Other players are more deserving besides us and I appreciate this decision to focus on youngsters who can play for a longer time than us. I fully back this decision.”

"My performances in the 2019 World Cup weren't good but in T20Is, whenever the team was number one, I did perform well. The new management came and tried some new things with new players to try and make a well balanced side, I don't think they should be criticised for that,” he added.

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The 37-year-old is eager to contribute to the team with his all-round performances.

"I want to play as an all-rounder but that depends on the captain and the plan that the team management makes and the match situation,” he said. “I am available as an all-rounder and when I am captaining, I try to bowl because that provides an extra edge that helps the team combination. I am fully fit for bowling, fielding and batting.”

The veteran all-rounder also revealed his future plans with regards to retirement from the shortest format of the game.

“There is no significance of captaincy once you are handed over the jersey of Pakistan. The priorities are same and the focus should be to win matches for Pakistan by performing you assigned responsibilities,” he said. "I was saying since quite a while that 2019 World Cup was my last ODI tournament and in T20I, the 2020 T20 World Cup, that is my last T20 tournament and that is still my thought. But I am still enjoying my cricket and I don't want to make that statement that I will retire after the 2020 T20 World Cup. When I get closer, I will see what happens and make a decision.”