My career is certainly not over: Shoaib Malik
Karachi: Former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik, who has been ignored for the 2011 World Cup preliminary squad, has made it clear that his career is far from over and promised to soon make a comeback to international cricket.
"It is hugely disappointing not to be selected in the World Cup squad and what is more strange is that neither the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) nor the national selectors have given any reason for ignoring me," Malik said.
The selectors yesterday did not pick the experienced allrounder in the 30-member preliminary squad and the board just stated that Malik was not cleared for selection.
"I was mentally prepared to be selected as I am in good form and am performing well in the domestic cricket. But I don`t know why they didn`t pick me.”
"Missing the World Cup is a big setback for me but my career is certainly not over and I can still continue to play for another five to six years, so I know that I can make a comeback," he added.
However, Pakistani newspaper `Dawn` today carried a story that said that Malik was not picked because he could not explain the presence of 90,000 pounds in his bank account in the UK to the integrity committee of the board.
"Malik was unable to explain from where the money came from, its source and how it was in his account. That was the reason why he was not cleared for selection," the report said.
The PCB integrity committee had inquired into the assets, bank accounts and sources of income of Malik, Kamran Akmal, Danish Kaneria and Rana Naved in the lead up to the World Cup selection. It also sought advice of International Cricket Council (ICC) till the last moment before considering Kamran and Rana for selection, while ignoring Malik and Kaneria.
Malik, who led Pakistan between 2007 and 2009 also clarified that he had no dispute or differences with any player in the national team and was ready to play under anyone`s captaincy.
"I am ready to play under any captain and offer him full support. The impression that I am an intriguer is not right."
Malik said he would continue to play domestic cricket and wait for his time to make a comeback.
Meanwhile, the former Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail said that if the board had functioned properly in the past, there would never have been any need for an integrity committee to keep a check on the players.
"But anyway the good thing is that the selectors have picked the right mix of experienced and youth in the World Cup preliminary squad, because in such a big tournament you need seniors to lead the way," Sohail added.
He, however, criticised the selection of Yasir Arafat in the World Cup preliminary squad, pointing out that he had already been given lot of chances in the past and had failed to capitalise on them.