Shoaib Malik speaks on Pakistan selection, says ‘I will only play if Babar Azam wants me to’

Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik expressed disappointment over being left out of the national team for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia and said that he will only play if skipper Babar Azam wants him to.

Speaking in an interview with Cricket Pakistan on YouTube, Malik revealed that he does have the occasional with Babar.

“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.

Malik, who hasn’t been picked for T20 World Cup 2022, last played for Pakistan in November 2021.

Told Shoaib Malik to take retirement: Hafeez

Former Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has said that a player of Shoaib Malik’s stature has not been treated well. Malik was ignored for the recently concluded Asia Cup 2022 and also overlooked for the World Cup. The 40-year-old couldn’t break into the national squad despite publically stating that he can still play the game.

Appreciating Malik for maintaining high levels of fitness, Hafeez said that for someone who has played international cricket for over 2 decades, such a treatment should not be meted out.

“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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