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Shoaib Malik rules out retirement talks, wants to play till 2020 WC

Karach: Senior Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik has ruled out quitting international cricket and set his sights on playing the 2019 ODI World Cup and 2020 World T20 Cup.

“If my form does not desert me and If I can maintain my current fitness standards, I will call it a day after playing in the 50-over World Cup and then the World T20,” Malik said in an interview.

“My ambition is to become the first Pakistani player to have featured in teams that have won three ICC events,” he said.

Malik, a former Pakistan captain from 2007 to 2009, said in cricket everything is dependent on form and fitness. “Everything will depend on how much I can continue contributing to the team as a senior player.

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,” he said.

Malik, 35, said that he knew some former players and critics believed that he should give way to youngsters in the Pakistan team. “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. “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,” he said. Malik said that he was still enjoying playing for Pakistan and in foreign T20 leagues especially after deciding he would never be captain of any team.

“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,” he said.

“But winning the Champions Trophy is certainly one of the most memorable moments of my career. I am fortunate to have also been part of the team that won the World T20 in 2009 in England.”

Malik who has played 35 Tests, 252 ODIs and 86 T20 Internationals said as the senior most player in the side he took it upon himself to meet the targets set for him by the captain and coach.

“I try to give my best because since last two years I have charted out my remaining international career carefully. I don’t want to let anyone down. I feel good looking at the younger players coming up and taking responsibility,” he said.

PTI