Malik to retire from Test cricket

"I think it's the right time to quit this format and I want to focus on the upcoming 2019 World Cup"

“I think it’s the right time to quit this format and I want to focus on the upcoming 2019 World Cup”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

In a shocking announcement, Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik has revealed that he will be retiring from Test cricket after the ongoing third Test against England in Sharjah.

Malik said he made the tough decision as he wants to represent Pakistan in limited overs cricket and play for them in the 2019 World Cup.

“I am taking retirement from Test cricket and this is my last Test,” Malik said in his statement. “I would like to thank my family, cricket board, my team-mates and my supporting staff as they have supported me all the way along. I think it’s the right time to quit this format and I want to focus on the upcoming 2019 World Cup.”

Malik has only played three matches since making a comeback from his five-year exile from the longest format of the game. While Malik admitted that he would have liked to have played more Test matches, he has decided to give up the format in order to conserve his energy and focus his attention on limited overs cricket.

“I am disappointed that I didn’t play Test cricket in the last five years and those were the years I wanted to play,” he said. “But that is part of life and you move on. Now I can see many youngsters knocking at the door and it’s the best time to allow them to get adjusted.

“It was tough to take a call as I could have played for another two years. But Test cricket is probably the toughest format, and we have a settled line-up.

“Representing Pakistan is a biggest honour but I have been thinking about [retirement] for a while. It was somewhere in my mind even before the double hundred [in Abu Dhabi] but, at the moment, my satisfaction is to walk away from this format. My fitness is fine but I think we have to step aside to allow youngsters to take over.”

Malik has represented Pakistan in 35 Tests and scored 1,898 runs, which includes three centuries, at a solid average of 35.14. He also took 29 wickets at an average of 51.48 with his off-spin.

“Cricket is my passion, has always been, and I might keep on playing first-class cricket, but the main reasons I am retiring are because of my family, and to allow youngsters [in the Test team] to be groomed,” he said. “Now is the time, amid the settled line-up, we can easily fit them in without any hitch. Since I haven’t played many 50-overs World Cups, I want to play [in England] and I am looking ahead to get ready by quitting Test cricket so I can save my energy.”

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