“I have no problem with anyone, I’m always ready to play”: Shoaib Malik opens his T20 World Cup nudges

Faced with calls to bring Pakistan’s veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik back into the T20 World Cup squad, the 40-year-old said he was fully fit and ready to give 100 per cent if needed.

Speaking to Samaa TV about his World Cup nudges, Malik said: “My job is to play cricket whenever I get the chance. It’s the decision of the team management to pick me up or not. Whenever I get a chance, I’ll try to make the best of it. Mujhe kisise koi problem nehi hain. Main kisike koi vs nehi hu kyunki positive rehna was one of the main reasons for the success of my career.”

Malik, who has enjoyed an international career spanning over 22 years, has been dropped from Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad. The veteran cricketer also spoke about his relationship with skipper Babar Azam.

“We kept in touch regularly. Yes, we used to talk more, but now he’s a skipper and he should be given this space. Mainly khud iss cheez se guzra hu. Isiliye maine aajtak koi pressure nehi dala na kabhi dalunga na kabhi convince karne ki koshish karunga,” he added.

Pakistan’s middle order was a major concern for team management as no other batsman could hit big runs in the middle order. From the Asian Cup defeat, to a 4-3 defeat in the 7-T20I game series against England, to a poor performance in the ongoing New Zealand Tri-Nation series, only the opening duo of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan carried the blame for goals.

With the failure of the middle order, Pakistan’s ‘poor selection’ is under attack. Many veteran cricketers felt that Shoaib Malik or probably Mohammad Hafeez should have been in the middle order to strengthen both batting and bowling, but neither were considered for the T20 World Cup.

Pakistan will open their T20 World Cup campaign against India on October 23 at Melbourne Cricket Stadium.

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