Pakistan‘s veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik said he hopes to play two more World Cups before calling time on his career, depending on his fitness and the requirements of the team.
The Pakistan team will be in the UAE this month for the Asia Cup and while the focus of the team is on winning against Asia’s best, the 36-year-old talked about the road ahead for him.
“I have said this before on many occasions that the 2019 50 Over World Cup will be my last World Cup,” said Malik.
Shoaib Malik on the topic of respect for senior players "To be given respect or not by others is not in your own hands & I don't accept the senior/junior thing. You need to have inner satisfaction with yourself and no one can hand you respect, it comes from the Almighty" #Cricket— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) September 7, 2018
“My goal is also to play the 2020 World T20 and end my T20 career after that but that depends on my fitness and will be based on discussions with the PCB as I believe honesty is important as a cricketer. If you feel that another player can come in place of you and play better than he should be given a chance.”
However, the veteran with more than 400 international matches under his belt said he would like to play two more World Cups.
“My goal is to play these two World Cups but it will depend on my fitness and if I feel that the time has come to take retirement, I will definitely take that option,” he added.
Pakistan fast bowler Hasan Ali will be looking to make a statement during the upcoming Asia Cup in the UAE.
Hasan has declared Pakistan will be the favourites against India in the tournament in the absence of Virar Kohli, who is being rested.
The 24-year-old also said that he would like to perform his trademark ‘arms aloft’ wicket-celebration against India 10 times if possible.
And just to remind the opposition of what will be in store when he picks up a wicket, it looks like Hasan will be sporting a special pendant of his celebration on his necklace during the coming few weeks.
During the training camp in Lahore, Hasan was seen wearing the special jewellery and Pakistan fans will be hoping to see a lot of more of the real celebration throughout the month in the UAE.
During his interaction with the media, Hasan said he would have liked for Kohli to play in the Asia Cup.
“As a youngster, everybody wants to take Virat Kohli’s wicket but unfortunately he isn’t coming. The next time we compete, I will definitely try to take his wicket.”
Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez insisted he has not given up hopes of a comeback after rumours of imminent retirement.
Hafeez’s career received a setback on Tuesday as he was excluded from the squad for the Asia Cup in the UAE.
Pakistan went in for young opening batsman Shan Masood after the 37-year-old Hafeez didn’t get to play a single match in the five-ODI series against Zimbabwe.
Pakistan chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said Hafeez remains part of Pakistan’s World Cup plans. “Hafeez is a part of the 20-22 players that we are considering for the World Cup. Hafeez is a good player and now he can bowl as well (after the ICC cleared his action). But, we have other options now,” Inzamam said.
Hafeez called a press conference in Lahore on Wednesday with many expecting a rant against the management or even his retirement announcement. But according to various reports from Pakistan, Hafeez received a call from the Pakistan board assuring him that he was still part of the team’s plans.
Rumours about retirement are all False, I am a fighter and wants to play for Pakistan again in future, says Mohammad Hafeez@MHafeez22 @DennisCricket_ #Pakistan #Cricket #PCB #Hafeez pic.twitter.com/zSvbWbGydD— Najeeb ul Hasnain (@get2najeeb) September 5, 2018
Hafeez went ahead with another presser in the evening, where he denied all rumours of his retirement.
“Whatever decision the stakeholders of Pakistan cricket take, I am with them. All rumours (about retirement) surrounding me are not true. I am available for Pakistan cricket,” Hafeez said.
“I am a fighter and will fight this scenario. I will play Qaid-e-Azam trophy and try to put in performances. selection is not in my hand,” he added.