No plans to retire from T20I format, says Shoaib Malik

Faizan Lakhani
All rounder Shoaib Malik. Photo: Reporter

Veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik has said that he has no intention of retiring from T20I cricket and will continue to play until his body allows him to do so. 

“I’m feeling good. I’m fit. I’m active. I’m enjoying my cricket and have no plans to announce retirement from T20s - domestic or international,” he said in an exclusive interview with Geo Super . 

“I also want to share my experience with youngsters as it is important for them to learn from seniors,” Malik said.

Malik then recalled his long journey in the sport. He said that he played in various age groups and shared the dressing room with experienced cricketers which helped him in his formative days.

“I was always focused on learning. This is a process which never stops even if you have achieved everything,” said Malik.

The all-rounder, who made his debut in the 90s and is still part of the circuit, stressed that it was only perseverance that got him this far.  

“It’s possible only because of hard work. You can’t even get near your dreams without doing the work,” he said.

READ: Shoaib Malik becomes first Asian to reach 10,000-runs milestone in T20 cricket

The 38-year-old, who recently became the first Asian to score 10,000 runs in T20 cricket, said that the milestone was not easy given his batting order.

“It wasn’t an easy journey. It is never easy for a middle order cricketer to score 10,000 runs in a format which provides limited opportunity to batsmen at a lower order. I never thought of doing this and this is a great honour for me. I won’t stop here and will continue scoring runs for teams I play,” he told Geo Super. 

The former skipper admitted that it was frustrating when, despite being in good form, he was overlooked in the selection process. 

“There were times when I was frustrated and thought of calling off my international career. Playing in leagues around the world helped me ease off my frustration,” he said.

“When I wasn’t named for World Cup 2015, I was thinking of announcing retirement but then Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Akram motivated me to continue playing for the country,” he said.

READ: Shahid Afridi says he'd be more interested in coaching kids than national team

When asked about any regrets, the 38-year-old revealed that it was accepting the captaincy role in 2007 as it created many unwanted scenarios for him.

“Had I known that I wasn’t experienced enough to handle things according to our culture, I wouldn’t have accepted the captaincy. I would never have. I’m the kind of person who takes everyone along but being at helm of affairs, you just can’t satisfy everyone. There were things that shouldn’t have happened and I was bothered about it,” he said.

“I did go to players individually afterwards and apologised to them if they felt bad due to my any intentional or unintentional actions as captain,” Malik said.

Speaking over the 2023 World Cup the cricketer advised the Pakistan Cricket Board to finalise its pool of players so that the same squad can get ample experience before the mega event.

“It’s better to have them in a pool from now, make them play all games so that they have enough experience before the World Cup so that they have it all before the big event," he said. 

“Also, allow the players to avail opportunities of playing in leagues because playing will get them experience that training alone won’t provide."

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No plans to retire from T20I format, says Shoaib Malik