LONDON: After defeating South Africa, New Zealand and Afghanistan in the second half of the World Cup, Pakistan made a fine comeback to come close to qualifying for the semi-finals.
While Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir and Haris Sohail earned plaudits from their fans, veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik badly failed to live up to his reputation.The 37-year-old Malik, who announced that the World Cup would be his last appearance on the international stage, managed to score just eight runs in three innings at the mega event. He collected eight against England, and followed it up with two consecutive ducks against Australia and India.
Former Pakistan skipper Wasim is clear that Malik has done nothing to earn a spot in the national squad. “This is not club cricket that you call a cricketer for a final match. [However] we can absolutely have a farewell dinner for him [Malik],” Wasim said.
Wasim followed it up by adding that despite his poor showing at the World Cup, Malik should be remembered for his contribution to Pakistan cricket.
“Unfortunately for him, he is not ending his career on a high — which he deserved, as he has done a lot for Pakistan cricket. He had a poor World Cup, was dismissed on duck twice, but this can happen to anyone. But we should remember his services for Pakistan cricket.
“He has won many matches for the country and at the end of the day, he is a nice guy. Let’s send him a nice farewell for once. It’s true that he did not perform well, but nobody does it on purpose,” the pace bowling legend added.
Prior to Pakistan’s final league match against Bangladesh at Lord’s on Friday, when asked whether Malik would get a final outing, Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed replied, “We haven’t seen the pitch yet and we will play our best combination.”
Malik did not feature in Pakistan’s playing XI on Friday, which confirmed the right-hander’s final appearance in the World Cup was against India, which his team lost by 89 runs.