There are only two cricketers playing in the Cricket World Cup 2019 who had made their international debut in the 1990s. While West Indies’ Chris Gayle had relatively quiet but comparatively a better tournament, Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik did so poorly that he was not considered for selection in the XI after the initial few games. The 37-year-old batting all-rounder had a horrendous run with the bat in this World Cup by scoring only eight runs from three games and his back-to-back ducks against Australia and India saw him getting dropped.
He has done a lot for Pakistan cricket
Pakistan are playing their final game of the tournament against Bangladesh on Friday and Malik is not in the playing XI. Malik had announced last year that he will retire from the ODIs after the World Cup. Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram felt that Malik could be given a farewell dinner and not a “farewell match”. “Of course, he had announced that he will retire after the World Cup. Unfortunately, it has not ended on a high note. I think he deserved to end his career on a high as he has done a lot for Pakistan cricket,” Khaleej Times cited reports quoting the legendary former all-rounder as saying.
Akram said what has happened to Malik could have happened to any player. He said one should keep in mind the long service he has given to Pakistan cricket and his match-winning contribution on several occasions to the team. “He is a nice guy, so let’s send him a nice farewell, for once. I know he could not perform in this World Cup, but he has performed over the years for Pakistan,” the former skipper added.
Malik had come under massive criticism after his golden duck against India at Old Trafford on June 16. A video went viral after Pakistan’s humiliating loss showing him, wife Sania Mirza and some other Pakistan cricketers at a sheesha place in London and it was being claimed that the cricketers were partying late into the night on the eve of the India clash.
Malik played 35 Tests, 287 ODIs and 111 T20Is for Pakistan scoring over 11,000 runs and taking over 200 wickets. Four out of his nine ODI hundreds came against arch-rivals India with the highest score of 143. “This is not club cricket where you can ask a player to play a one-day match. We can rather organise a farewell dinner for him,” Akram mentioned.