‘Not ambitious about T20 WC selection’:Shoaib Malik

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LAHORE, Jan 22 (APP):Ace Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik has said that he was not ambitious about playing upcoming T20 World Cup for the country but he was optimistic his good form may earn him a place.

Talking to media persons after a practice session at the Qaddafi Stadium here on Wednesday, he said his only focus was the upcoming Pakistan- Bangladesh T20 series in Lahore, adding that he wanted to contribute to the team’s performance and grooming the youngsters and the youthful T20 captain Babar Azam.

To a question, Pakistan had a talented pool of cricketers in T20 cricket, adding that the young players would replicate Babar Azam’s feats in the recent past if provided consistent opportunities.

Shoaib Malik, who was the fourth highest run getter with 455 runs for Rajshahi Royals, which eventually won the recently concluded BPL7, said he knew all of the Bangladesh players through the BPL and his experience would help the team in the T20 series.

Admitting the dip in form during the CWC 19 in England and Wales for which he was not picked against Sri Lanka, Shoaib said he was doing well in the T20 leagues across the globe.

On the question of captaincy, he said captaincy did not matter to him what mattered was donning Pakistan Green on the field, adding it was important to give your best what you have learnt over the years.

Regarding Central Contract, he hailed PCB decision to award Cental contract to the youngsters who had a long future ahead rather than the senior players like Muhammad Hafeez and him.

Shoaib Malik said the Bangladesh and other cricketers do get feedback on playing in Pakistan, adding that he had always told them to come and play in Pakistan as the people love cricket here and everything was safe.

On Mushfiqur Raheem’s decision not to visit Pakistan citing family pressure, the highest run-getter in T20 cricket for Pakistan urged Mushfiqur Raheem to come to Pakistan for test matches.

To a query, he was fully fit and doing well in all departments batting, bowling and fielding, adding that it all depended on the team plans how to utilise him as an all-rounder.

To a question, he said he always wanted to play the T20 WC in Australia and he would continue to play leagues afterwards as well.