SHARJAH: Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik, who surprisingly retired on the eve of the third day of the final Test against England, said that he was not meant to play Test cricket anymore and the side needed captain Misbah and veteran Younus’ services more than him.
“Sure I can play Tests for quite a few more years, and my performance during this series made me more confident with my abilities as a utility player. Also, our team is well established, performing well, and, having been a part of this series, I can confirm that the team needs the leadership of Misbah and Younus not me”, wrote Malik in his recent blog post.
Malik also revealed his love and passion for the game, which was the prime reason for not retiring earlier from the longest format of the game.
“I have also discussed with a close few, taken opinions of friends, family, peers, seniors, my wife, and Ammi jaan.
“It was one of the toughest decisions of my life, no doubt.
“Mentally I had kind of retired from Test format sometime back as I decided to focus only on One-Days and T20s. But my love for cricket in general and the fascination with Test cricket in specific never allowed me to take it as a formal decision.”
Malik, who recently scored his highest Test score in the first match of the series, revealed that continuous failure after a mammoth first inning individual score, re-affirms his believe that he is not best suited for the ‘real’ test.
“Playing these 3 Tests have also helped me to confirm my decision, and re-connect with what it takes. All I can say for sure is that Test format, is a REAL test!”
The veteran all–rounder believes that youngsters should be inducted into the Test side, where they will be groomed under seniors.
“Also, what the team needs is the much younger talent who can play with the seniors, learn and get the grooming around tons of experience. I am giving up my spot for new talent, the likes of Babar Azam, Moahmmed Rizwan, Sohaib Maqsood, Harris Sohail, and many others.”
Sialkot Stallions captain further expressed his desire to represent Pakistan in the World Cup 2019, which is going to held in England.
“I want to focus on the World Cup 2019 and give back to my people what I have learned around the world of cricket, like two decades ago others had done for me.”
The right–hand batsman believes retiring from Tests will give him more time to spend with his family.
“I have enjoyed playing professional cricket for the past 20 years and have lived my dreams but mostly all of this has come at the cost of my family time and personal relationships. I need to take care of these blessings around me as that is what really means the most to me.
“Would also like to mention Ammi jaan without whom I will be just too lost.”
Shoaib Malik will still have a part to play in the match with the ball, as Pakistan look to seal the series by winning the ongoing third Test against England at Sharjah.