Malik confident of making a return to team for World Cup

Lahore: Former Test captain Shoaib Malik is confident of regaining his place in the Pakistan squad for the 50-over cricket World Cup next year on the sub-continent and said he is looking to put up a good performance in the forthcoming domestic cricket tournaments.

The national selection committee had ignored the former skipper for the ongoing series against South Africa in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The selectors instead named him captain for the Hong Kong super sixes tournament to be held on November 6-7.

Malik will leave for Hong Kong later tonight.

"I have not given up hope of playing in the mega event and I am confident given my past record they (selectors) will keep me in the preliminary list of 30 players," Malik said.

The seasoned allrounder, who was also dropped for the one-day series in England this year, said his confidence stemmed from the fact that he was named captain to lead the national team in the Hong Kong sixes tournament.

"The selectors have indicated they still believe in me. I am training hard and I am taking every opportunity to play cricket. After returning from Hong Kong I will be playing domestic cricket and hope to do well in that to bring myself into contention for the full tour to New Zealand next month and then the World Cup," he said.

Pakistan is scheduled to play two Tests, six one-day internationals and two T20 matches in New Zealand.

Malik said he was not dejected over being dropped from the national team as he knew these tough times come in every professional cricketer`s life.

"One has to cope with it and just respond with good and solid performances. I know I have lot of cricket left in me in every form of the game that is why I am looking forward to the World Cup," he added.

Malik also described the performance of the national team against South Africa as good but felt luck was not favouring them.

"I think the area we need to really work hard on is how to finish off matches properly and not to allow opponents to fight back after we get their early wickets," he said.

Malik, who is still without a central contract said, he knew that there was a lot of competition for the World Cup but once he got into the preliminary squad, he could also make the final list.