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World Cup triumph will complete my life: Malik

Pakistan all-rounder is keen on bowing out of ODI cricket on a high

PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik is keen on signing off from ODI cricket on a high, by winning the upcoming 2019 International Cricket Council World Cup in England and Wales.     

While talking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Malik said that winning the mega event will complete his life.

“I have won the World T20 and the Champions Trophy but the only missing piece from my trophy cabinet is the World Cup,” said Malik. “My life would be complete if I’m successful in winning it.”

The former Pakistan captain was also looking forward to making a positive contribution, both on and off the field, during the event. 

“I want make my last World Cup memorable not just by performing well, but also helping the youngsters with my experience and ensuring that the atmosphere of dressing room remains cordial,” he said.

The 2019 World Cup will see all ten teams competing against each other in a round-robin format, with the top four qualifying for the final — a format which Malik believes will give equal opportunity to every side.

“The format of the tournament is such that it gives every team an equal opportunity but only the consistent sides will put themselves in a good position to win the event,” he said.

The 37-year-old also stressed on the importance of starting the tournament well.

“Starting the tournament well and winning the earlier games will be key for any side, which is why it is important to play well as a unit and put in the hard yards right from the outset,” he said.

The Sialkot-born also shared his thoughts on former India opener Virender Shewag’s comments, which associated Indo-Pak match with war. 

“The word ‘war’ itself is a weird one for me and using it is not a good thing, especially in sports. We are going to treat this Indo-Pak game as just another match and not different as compared to our other opponents,” he said.

Malik, who only has one fifty plus score in his previous 12 ODI innings, also spoke about his poor run of form in the recent past. 

“I got out trying to play shots in a hurry, in the recent past including Australia series, and this is something I’m trying to curb,” he said. “I will look to settle down first and take the game deep, in upcoming matches, as it helps in assessing the game better.”

He also once again reiterated his stance of having no interest in captaining the national side.

“I have no interest in captaining the side and I think it is fair to groom youngsters for that role. Although I hope that Sarfaraz will captain the side in the next World Cup as well,” he said. “The only reason I took up captaincy, in Sarfaraz’s absence, was because it was a difficult situation and my country needed me. When that is the case, one should never say no.”

Pakistan will start their World Cup campaign against West Indies, on May 31, at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.