Malik hopeful of selection against South Africa

Lahore: Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said that he is hopeful of making a comeback to the national team for the forthcoming series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates.

Malik told reporters here after returning from Delhi where his wife, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza will be competing in the Commonwealth Games starting Sunday, that he had not given up hope on his International career despite being dropped for the ODI series in England.

“I know my form was not very good in the Test matches but I will be back to playing domestic cricket and I am sure I can convince the selectors to give me another chance against South Africa,” he said.

Malik dismissed suggestions that since his marriage to Sania he had been preoccupied with other things and that had affected his performances.

“I don’t think so at all. Infact, my wife has been source of inspiration for me and we enjoy being together,” he said.

Malik also said that Sania was always available to play any charity match for the flood victims of Pakistan.

“Whenever a flood charity match is held in Dubai she is available to play for this noble cause,” he said.

Malik also made it clear that he was disappointed with the continued snub given to Pakistani teams by Champions League Twenty20 organisers.

“They have had two Champions League tournaments and our team has not got a chance to play against the best,” said Malik, who leads the Sialkot Stallions, which is Pakistan’s domestic T20 champions for the last three years.

“It is most unfortunate we are not getting a chance because we know our team is very good and we can do well in the Champions League. I think we deserve to play against the other national T20 champions in such a big platform.”

“I hope in the next edition the Pakistani champions get a chance,” he said.

He also called on the national selectors to focus on preparing a strong squad for next year’s World Cup.

“I think the time has come for the selectors to decide on the nucleus of say 18 to 20 players who can play in the World Cup. We don’t have much time now to experiment we need to start forming the World Cup combination,” he added.