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Friday, January 21, 2011

I am passing through most difficult phase, says Malik

Former Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik admits that he is passing through the most difficult time of his career but hopes good times will come again. Malik, 28, has not been selected in a 15-man Pakistan squad for the forthcoming World Cup to be played from next month in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In an exclusive interview with German Radio Deutsche Welle Urdu service here, Malik said that playing World Cup was the utmost desire of any athlete in the world. “And it becomes more disappointing when one is ignored when one is in the best form of his life. I have never been in form like this before in 11 years of my international career the way I played in the recently concluded Quaid Trophy,” he added.

Malik was the second top scorer of Quaid Trophy with 799 runs in only 6 matches. “Cricket is my passion. I thought I could have won this World Cup for Pakistan and that is why it is very difficult to make myself understand. But then its not the end of the world and cricket too. I will not leave playing cricket and try to cash in other opportunities come my way by playing domestic cricket and events outside the country.”

Malik said during this most difficult phase his wife and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza had been very supportive. “Sania being herself as a sports woman knows how to face this kind of situation. She had been through some ups and down as well. I am very lucky to have Sania as my wife who is sporting and helping me at every step to handle all this.”
Malik denied media reports that indicated that an amount of £90,000, which was transferred from India to his British account, was the main reason behind the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) decision to sideline him from the World Cup squad. “I have not hidden any thing from the PCB integrity committee. Like in Pakistan you cant approach any body’s bank account abroad. But I gave every detail of my Pakistani and foreign assets and bank accounts to the PCB but yet I was not selected. I wont start firing at any one because its not my nature and I always try to remain away from controversies.”

Malik is considered as a ODI and Twenty20 specialist because his Test match record has never been that impressive as other two versions of the game. In 32 Tests, Malik has scored only 1606 at 33 and claimed only 21 wickets while in 192 ODIs he has made over 5188 runs and grabbed 134 wickets as well. Despite this, Malik has no intention to quit Test cricket like England’s Paul Collingwood and New Zealand’s Jacob Oram. “I know my Test performance level is not as high but I am not that sort of guy who thinks that I cant do this or that. I have worked very hard on few issues of my game and that worked really well in Quad Trophy. And I want to play all three versions of the game for the next seven to eight years.

On the Pakistan team’s prospects in the World Cup, Malik suggested that Pakistan should rely on senior players. “In an mega event like World Cup only seniors can take pressure of the situations and that’s why I think Pakistan should be relying on experienced players,” Malik concluded.
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