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Sports

June 20, 2019

Hafeez throws weight behind under-fire Malik

Sports

Thu, Jun 20, 2019

LONDON: Shoaib Malik sprinted as the ball raced towards the boundary at the Nursery Ground in Lord’s. He couldn’t stop it. The all-rounder, with a smile on his face, picked up the ball and threw it back towards the nets.

That was the closest he came to the media corps which was present at the iconic venue to cover Pakistan’s training session on Thursday.

The senior all-rounder, who is being assailed as a villain back home following his poor World Cup run, looked remarkably relaxed. He was fully involved in training even though it is being speculated that his golden duck against India at Old Trafford on Sunday was his last ODI game.

There have also been speculations that Malik could soon announce his retirement from ODI cricket after scoring just eight runs from his three World Cup outings.

But a team official rubbished all such rumours, stressing that the former captain remains committed to the team’s cause. “He is not a quitter,” said the official.

Malik also received great support from his fellow senior players, Mohammad Hafeez.

“He (Malik) is working hard. His body language is positive and we are all supporting him,” Hafeez told reporters.

Malik has flopped miserably in the World Cup and has come under intense fire from all quarters following his back-to-back noughts in vital World Cup games against Australia and India.

Hafeez was of the view that there are times when the going becomes really tough for a player.

“There are times when you are doing everything but nothing is working. I’ve been in the same situation so I can understand what Malik is going through.”

There have been a lot of allegations of bickering and grouping in the Pakistan team in the aftermath of the humiliating defeat against India. When asked about it on Thursday, Hafeez laughed it off. “I’ve seen this happening so many times in the past. Why don’t they make similar accusations when the team is winning,” he asked.