New Delhi: Former Pakistani skipper Shoaib Malik on Friday came out in support of national team’s limited overs captain Shahid Afridi but said that he would have to deliver positive results.
“I always supported him and believe he has the experience to do well but he will have to deliver positive results and grab the opportunity that was given to him to lead the country.” said Malik.
Afridi was reportedly keen on Malik’s inclusion into the team for on-going series against South Africa.
“In order to perform, it is very important to have the unstinted faith of the captain,” the right-handed batsman said.
The 28-year-old Malik is in fact hopeful of getting a call in the Pakistan squad for the 2011 World Cup.
“It is a dream for every cricketer to play for one’s country in the World Cup and I believe I am still good enough to represent Pakistan for many more years. I will be delighted to get the opportunity,” said Malik.
“I’ve been working out regularly in the gym besides practicing in the nets wherever I am. Apart from this I’ve played some domestic cricket in Pakistan. I feel fitter than I ever was.”
Talking about the present Pakistani team and its World Cup prospects, Malik said the side ‘could never be written off’.
“We have a talented bunch of players and the Pakistani team can never be written off, particularly in one-day cricket,” he told espnstar.com.
“I think that a professional cricketer has to learn to handle all kinds of pressures and cannot use it as an excuse for below par performances.”
On being married to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, the cricketer said, “I think it’s a blessing to be married to someone, who completely understands the ups and downs of professional sport and the pressures of being publicly known figures.”