Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik has insisted that he has no intentions of announcing his retirement from international cricket in the foreseeable future.
Malik revealed that he is eager to represent his country at the 2019 World Cup and 2020 World Twenty20.
However, the 35-year-old acknowledged that in order to keep playing until those major ICC events, he has to be in good form and maintain a high level of fitness.
“Everything will depend on how much I can continue contributing to the team as a senior player,” he was quoted as saying by PTI. “I myself would not like to remain part of the national team if I feel I am becoming a burden. I will retire. But right now after winning the Champions Trophy I am very optimistic we can win the next World Cup in England.”
While Malik knows that some people are calling for him to step aside in order to allow younger talents to shine, he made it clear that he still loves donning the Pakistan jersey.
“I retired from Test cricket in November 2015 after scoring a double hundred in the series against England because I wanted to focus on ODIs and T20 cricket,” he said. “And I think I have vindicated and justified my place in the team. I think my performances since my retirement from Test cricket speak for themselves.
“I feel no pressure now and I know every time I go out for Pakistan I can add value to our performances. Not getting a big score in the Champions Trophy was disappointing but I did everything I could to make my presence felt as a senior pro.”
During the Champions Trophy, Malik only averaged 18 with the bat and failed to get any wickets. Despite this, he was delighted that Pakistan defied the odds to win the tournament.
“Winning the Champions Trophy is certainly one of the most memorable moments of my career,” he added. “I am fortunate to have also been part of the team that won the World T20 in 2009 in England.”
In regards to what the future holds for him, Malik wants to ensure that he sets a good example for the younger players in the side.
“I try to give my best because since last two years I have charted out my remaining international career carefully,” he said. “I don’t want to let anyone down. I feel good looking at the younger players coming up and taking responsibility.”