Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik has announced that he will retire from ODIs after the 2019 World Cup, set to be held in England. Malik made his decision public while speaking to reporters in Lahore.
Stating that the World Cup will be the ‘last event of his 50-over career’, Malik, who has till date, played 261 ODIs for Pakistan, also added that he will continue playing T20Is if he manages to stay fit.
“If you have made goals for yourself that keeps you running, I have made some for myself. We have already won two big events: the (2009) World T20 and the (2017) Champions Trophy”.
“The only thing left in my career is that 50-over World Cup. That is the thing I am looking at which makes me work hard. I have big hopes from these youngsters and myself. We are going to give our best”, he said.
“Pakistan has put up performances on consistent basis in the recent past which we previously lacked,” said the 36-year-old. “People now have hopes from us to win big events. This is a good sign. This represents that our team and structure are on the right track. These youngsters are great. What really is outstanding that those outside of the playing XI pray for the ones who are playing. It is a great keeping our culture in mind.
“You learn from playing a match, regardless of its nature or your experience. Even in a club match you learn the things that you normally don’t during practice. The team has gotten better in the shorter format because it is playing more and more matches,” he added.
Malik made his ODI debut for Pakistan way back in 1999 and is one of only a handful of active cricketers who debuted in the previous century. He has scored 6975 runs with nine hundreds, while also taking 154 wickets with his off-spin.
He stressed on the importance of giving time to family, while adding that the decision did not involve regret of any kind, and that he made the decision with the future of Pakistan cricket in mind.
He retired from Test cricket in 2015, having played 35 games since 2001.