Shoaib Malik retires from ODI cricket after Pakistan's World Cup exit

Shoaib Malik played 287 ODIs and finished as Pakistan's fifth-highest run-scorer.

Shoaib Malik's given a guard of honour by his team-mates.   -  Twitter @cricketworldcup

Pakistan all-rounder, Shoaib Malik, announced his retirement from ODI cricket on Friday, minutes after Pakistan’s last World Cup fixture.

The 37-year-old, however, will continue playing in the T20s and aims to feature in the World T20 next year. “That’s my goal at the moment,” an emotional Malik said.

Before the World Cup got underway, Malik -- who is married to Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza -- had indicated that he could take a call on his career. But after a dismal outing -- where he played just three games and could score just eight runs -- Malik decided to move on.

“I have no regrets. But it’s just that I have been too flexible in my batting order. I have batted wherever the team wanted. I have been dropped many times, I missed a few years of international cricket and have been around for 20 years,” Malik said. “I am disappointed to be judged on two bad games here,” he added.

Malik feels that even if Pakistan decides to look beyond Sarfaraz Ahmed as the skipper, the new man should be given a longer rope. “I hope anyone appointed in a leadership role gets at least two years before he is properly judged. Things don’t change overnight,” he said, adding that former captain and country’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, is also trying his best. “But it takes time…”

Talking about the present crop, Malik -- who played in 287 ODIs for Pakistan over a span of almost two decades -- admitted that there is enough talent. “This crop of Pakistan players is talented. I hope they get chances because they are inexperienced. Our ODI ranking is sixth, but we will improve… We need to be patient,” Malik stated.