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‘I will play if Babar Azam wants me to’ – Shoaib Malik opens up on Pakistan selection for 20-20 World Cup 2022

'I have always been available for Pakistan and I still am,' added Malik.
Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik
Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik- Source (Twitter)

The Pakistan great Shoaib Malik has come out in the open and expressed his displeasure about being left out of the Pakistan World Cup squad for the 20-20 World Cup 2022 which will be held in Australia. But he has said that he will play for the national side only if the skipper Babar Azam exclusively requires his services.

Shoaib Malik was also not a part of the Asia Cup 2022 and was not considered for the multilateral tournament despite him publicly stating that he was still available for Pakistan and would play games for the Men in Green. “He asked me if I want to continue playing or take retirement during the last world cup, to which I said that I don’t want to play anymore due to the recent turn of events,” said Malik.

“However, I told Babar that if he wants me to play, then I will play. I have always been available for Pakistan and I still am,” Malik added. “I then asked Babar to tell me if I should take part in selected series or selected matches and communicate the same to me. He then told me ‘ok you can play and I’ll tell you accordingly’,” he further added.

When I took my retirement, I told Malik to take retirement as well: Mohammad Hafeez

Malik, who hasn’t been picked for T20 World Cup 2022, last played for Pakistan in November 2021. Former Pakistan allrounder Mohammad Hafeez had also said some time back that a player of Shoaib Malik’s stature has been given a cold shoulder by the Pakistan coaches and management.

Hafeez said that Malik had been donning the green flannels for over 20 years and the treatment meted out to the star all-rounder was unwarranted and could have been avoided.

“Malik gave his best to Pakistan for about 21-22 years and maintaining your fitness standards for that long is absolutely remarkable,” Hafeez was quoted as saying to Cricket Pakistan.

“When I took my retirement, I told Malik to take retirement as well because I knew that he will not be respected as it was also evident in my case. My understanding was that he wanted one last standing, but cricket is cruel like this,” he said.

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