'I don't know what my captaincy had to do with his retirement': Shoaib Malik responds to Shahid Afridi's claims
- In 2007, all-rounder Shoaib Malik became Pakistan's fourth-youngest captain at the age of 25.
It is safe to say that Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik's time with the national team has not been smooth-sailing. His bumpy ride began in 2001 when his bowling action was first reported. He then fractured his right shoulder on the field. A few years later in 2004, his bowling action was reported once again. A year later, he was handed a one-match ban in Tests after agreeing to have lost a match on purpose. After his controversial captaincy stint, he was banned for a year starting in 2010 due to reports of fights within the team.
Malik, long story short, has had a tough going.
Touching upon his captaincy stint, former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi recently stated that he was mulling retirement in 2009 and that he was handed the captaincy prematurely.
“I decided not to play cricket anymore,” he told Samaa TV. “Shoaib Malik had become the captain and there was a lot of politics going on within the team," he added.
Responding to Afridi's comments, 39-year-old Malik said that Afridi is absolutely correct.
"I don't know what my captaincy had to do with his retirement, I think he wrote about that in his book. I was asked the same question earlier and I said that if he said I was made rushed into captaincy, he is absolutely right. In a lot of interviews, I have said that if I was as wise in 2007 as I am today, I would have never accepted the offer," Malik explained while speaking to Cricket Pakistan.
Malik was made captain in 2007, becoming the fourth-youngest captain of Pakistan at the age of 25. Under right-hander Malik's leadership, Pakistan played three Tests, drawing one and losing two. One of the defeats came against India during the 2007/08 season.
Pakistan won their first series under Malik, 2-1 against Sri Lanka, and ended up securing victories in 24 out of 36 ODIs. In T20Is, he led his side to 12 wins in 17 games.
Malik last played for Pakistan in 2020, turning in national colours in a T20I against England in Manchester.