2019 World Cup in England and Wales will be all-rounder’s last ODI tournament
Pakistan middle-order batsman Shoaib Malik has said that he wants a fairytale finish to his ODI career, by winning the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.
“2019 World Cup will be the last tournament of my ODI career and hopefully the team will succeed,” said Malik during a press conference at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
He added: “I will continue playing T20 cricket after the culmination of my ODI career.”
Speaking about the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe, Malik said that the team will have to be fully prepared because, both, Australia and Zimbabwe will come hard at them.
“Australia are the number two ranked side in T20 cricket while Zimbabwe will offer tough resistance in home conditions,” said Malik.
The former Pakistan captain also said that we need to be patient with the Test team as it will produce good results if the youngsters are given time to prove themselves.
“Test team will start producing consistent results in a couple of years’ time,” he said. “The performance of youngsters is improving and if more confidence is instilled in the players, they will come up with positive results.”
Malik also revealed the reason behind his good fitness levels: “The training routines of the entire squad is similar but I have a slight edge over the rest of my teammates as my father was also an athlete; which has helped in improving my fitness level.”
He also stressed on the importance of senior players offering guidance to the youngsters in the squad.
“Senior players should not be a part of the side if they don’t offer guidance to the younger lot,” he said. “The team is capable enough to beat any side of the world.”
Earlier it was reported that pacer Mohammad Amir had asked the team management to rest him for the series against Zimbabwe but the board decided against it.
“It is up to the board to decide when to rest the players but it is good to see that there is no communication gap between the players and the management,” he said.
Talking about the ongoing FIFA World Cup, Malik said that his support lies with Brazil and he hoped that they would win the elusive trophy.
“My favorite team at the World Cup is Brazil,” he said. “I would have been extremely depressed if they were not able to produce the last gasp winner in the match, the other day,” he said.
On Monday the Zimbabwe bound T20 and ODI squad members also passed their fitness tests conducted at the National Cricket Academy (NCA).
Nineteen players took part in the fitness tests and passed the 17.4 mark set for the Yo-Yo tests.
Head coach Mickey Arthur has expressed his satisfaction at the fitness levels displayed by the players.
"I'm very pleased with the results of the fitness tests. We have tried to set a benchmark and develop a fitness culture in recent months, our efforts have paid off and I'm delighted how the players have taken to the culture. I would also want to thank team trainer Grant Luden—besides the coaches and trainers at NCA—for ensuring that the players remain steadfast and follow the routines prescribed to them."
Pakistan are scheduled to take part in a triangular series in Zimbabwe alongside Australia—beginning on July 1—followed by a five-match ODI series against the hosts.