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Sports

June 16, 2019

Has Malik already played his last ODI?

Sports

Sun, Jun 16, 2019

MANCHESTER: Is it an end of Malik’s era? Probably, as it may seem.

After an unimpressive show in ICC World Cup 2019 so far, it is highly likely that Malik Shoaib Malik has played his last ODI innings on Sunday against India at the Old Trafford.

Malik had already announced to retirement from ODIs at the end of the on-going World Cup. He has scores of 8,0 and 0 in three innings of the World Cup, so far.

He has scored just 3 50s in last 30 ODIs, scoring 608 runs at an average of 25.33 since start of 2018 which shows a decline in his performance.

Team sources say that Malik, in team meetings, had been saying that he wanted his last World Cup to me remembered but it has turned into a nightmare for him, as it may seem.

The veteran of 287 ODIs, despite struggling with form, was backed by team’s head coach Mickey Arthur on Saturday, who hoped that Malik’s experience would be important for Pakistan in the game against India.

But, Malik couldn’t deliver what Arthur had hoped.

And, following his unimpressive run, it seems unlikely that he would be retained by team for remaining matches in the tournament and Asif Ali would come to replace him.

In 287 ODIs, so far, Malik has scored 7534 runs and has remained an integral part of Pakistan Cricket team due to his all-round ability, but a decline in forum during last few months has created serious questions on Malik’s selection in the team.

Malik is one of only two players who debuted in 1990s and are still active in cricket, the other being West Indian Chris Gayle.

Last June, he had announced to retire from ODIs after the World Cup, but would continue to play T20Is.

"I have made some for myself. We have already won two big events: the World T20 [in 2009] and the Champions Trophy [in 2017]. The only thing left in my career [to win] is that 50-over World Cup. That is the thing I am looking at which makes me work hard. I have big hopes from these youngsters and myself. We are going to give our best,” Malik had said last year.

He had earlier retired from Test cricket in 2015 after scoring his career-best 245 against England at Sharjah.