Malik turns down county offers in hope of national team recall

Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik has turned down approaches from county sides Hampshire and Essex, hoping for his possible inclusion in the Pakistan team for the Sri Lanka tour scheduled to start from June 1.

“I was offered county contracts through my representative but I refused to sign the deal because of a strict clause in those contracts,” Malik told The Express Tribune.

“The teams sought assurance that I’ll be forced to play for them if I sign the deal, even if I was selected for Pakistan. That left me with no option but to turn them down, as making a return to the national side is my priority. I’m hoping to regain my place in the squad ahead of the Sri Lanka tour.”

Pakistan will play three Tests, five One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Twenty20s in Sri Lanka. Malik, who has played 32 Tests and 203 ODIs, said he was working hard to maintain his form and fitness.

“I am training hard and also playing club matches these days. If I get another chance, I will try my best to perform for Pakistan,” he said.

Pakistan selectors will name the squad on May 12. Malik was omitted from the Asia Cup squad following the limited-overs series-loss against England.

However, his chances of regaining a place in the side improved after he passed the fitness test under the supervision of coach Dav Whatmore. The 30-year old has remained impressive in the domestic season where he also led Sialkot Stallions to two Twenty20 titles – the National Twenty20 and the Super Eight T20 Cup.


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