Sports

Names don’t matter, Windies not to be taken lightly: Shoaib Malik

Pakistan’s former captain and veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik on Friday said that the players picked by West Indies for the upcoming Pakistan tour are all good performers of their leagues and Pakistan can’t be complacent about them.
Talking to media on the sidelines of the second day of Pakistan team’s training at National Stadium, Malik said, “We must not talk about big names, because names don’t matter, what matters in cricket is team combination.”
“I have been playing CPL [Caribbean Premier League] for last five years and the team [West Indies] have announced [for the tour] is very good. All these players have been performing for last few years. They’re a good combination. People are saying that there are no big names, but big names hardly matter, their team is very balanced and very good,” Malik said.
The all-rounder agreed that Pakistan would have an advantage of playing at home.
Malik, who was part of Pakistan squad that played the last international match in Karachi nine years ago – a Test match against Sri Lanka – welcomed the return of international cricket to Pakistan, saying that both fans and players were missing action at this venue.
“Karachi is Pakistan’s biggest city and economic hub, it’s a good sign that cricket is returning here. Congratulations to PCB and Karachi administration,” he said.
“People in Karachi and also cricketers have missed playing here. The city hosted PSL final, and here’s to hoping for another successful event in Karachi. I am [confident] that Karachi, after being deprived of cricket [for so long], will get some entertaining cricket and send a signal to the world that we can host cricket here. People here are very loving and it is reflected from the tweets of foreign players who recently visited Karachi for PSL.”
He hailed the inclusion of youngsters in Pakistan squad. “All the new players are very good, and it is good for Pakistan team to have performers coming in. Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Nawaz, Shadab and Faheem are the type of players who have a similar spark as our stars in the past. We need to give them confidence so that they can groom.”
Replying to a question, Pakistan’s most successful T20 player said that he is no longer bothered about his batting position and that he’s ready to play the part of bowling all-rounder in absence of Mohammad Hafeez.
“Being a senior, one must be consistent with their performance. A senior is not just responsible for his own performance, he must also help youngsters to grow,” he said.
“I consider myself an all-rounder and I’m available for any role the team requires from me. I am working equally hard on my bowling.”