Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Malik believes the CPL has the potential to be as successful as the Indian Premier League and Big Bash League
Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik has announced that he sees big things in store for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) if the following tournaments are as successful as the inaugural one has been.
Malik, who is currently representing the Barbados Tridents, has played Twenty20 tournaments all around the world, but believes that the CPL has the potential to be right at the top of the list.
“After the IPL and the Big Bash League you can take this as third (in the world) and it is just the first year,” he said. “The response from the West Indies people has been awesome. Whenever you are playing a league it is about people coming to the ground; that is the key to success, and I have seen that here.
“People have been coming from everywhere. I was talking to the Jamaica players and they were saying ‘We were not expecting much of a crowd in Jamaica’, but we played there and even in a day game I saw the ground full and energetic.
“It is a great thing. I went out to dinner with (Muttiah) Murali(tharan) here in Trinidad and people met us and said they had tickets for the rest of the games here. A few said ‘We do not follow cricket but we are still coming to support our team’.
“It is just the first year but I would give these guys credit for the way this has been handled and organised. I am sure next year it will be even better, it will be huge. That is what all the overseas players are expecting.”
Malik has struggled to find any form recently and as a result, he was snubbed for Pakistan’s tour of Zimbabwe, but the national selectors may have to change their minds about leaving him out of the squad as he has dominated with both the bat and ball.
“I was struggling with my shoulder and my elbow but I have had surgery for my elbow and I have worked hard in the gym every day,” he said. “Now I am absolutely fine. I can even bowl 30 overs in one day. I am very happy and I want to play as an all-rounder; that is my priority.”
The 31-year-old revealed that he had met West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard, who is currently in charge of the Tridents, during the Champions Trophy in England and it was there that Pollard asked him to join the franchise.
“When someone gives you that confidence it is always good,” Malik said.
Malik added that he is desperate to represent Pakistan again and will do whatever it takes to regain his spot in the national team.
“Representing your country is the biggest thing (and) of course I want to play for my team (Pakistan), I want to do well for my country,” he said. “I still think I can play for another five or six years. I am fit but I want to see myself consistent and I do not want to bat at number six (for Pakistan) any more, I want to bat at number three or four. I just want to play for the country and do well. That is my goal.”