- Urdu release is attached here
Lahore, 22 January 2020: Pakistan recalled the experience pair of Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez for the three Bangladesh T20Is, which begin on Friday, to strengthen the side and provide depth in the batting department.
The two share 200 T20Is between them and are eager to impart their knowledge of international cricket to the youngsters, besides helping Babar Azam, the Pakistan captain, in executing his on-field plans effectively.
On the sidelines of a warm-up match at the iconic Gaddafi Stadium, which hosts the three-T20Is on 24, 25 and 27 January, Hafeez and Malik, who last played for Pakistan in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, had a conversation on how they looked to make the most of their returns in the Pakistan camp.
Mohammad Hafeez said: “The best you can do for the next generation of cricketers is to share your experience and that cannot be done with words but with actions. We have learned from our seniors on how to be successful in your cricketing career.
“It is an added role for us that we have to groom these young cricketers in the side and prepare them for the next 10-12 years.
“There is a pressure of captaincy which you and I have faced in our careers and we can take this off from Babar by putting up performances which can lead Pakistan to victories. We can back his plans and help him in their better execution on the field.
“It is an honour for me to wear the Pakistan cap. I am eager to wear the Pakistan kit and win matches for my country at this beautiful venue. I still remember the day when I made my international debut and I still have the same intensity in me. For me, this is not a comeback. I am looking forward to the challenge.”
Shoaib Malik said: “As a professional cricketer, you want to give your best shot whether you are playing club, league or international cricket. This doesn’t feel like a comeback because in my previous comebacks there have been more lengthy gaps as compared to this one. It is a wonderful feeling to be donning your country’s colours which cannot be described in words. There is certainly no comparison for it.
“Our inclusion will help the youngsters and our captain as we bring in the experience which we can share with them.
“Age is just a number and it should not be a metric to judge a player rather a player should be judged on the criteria set by the board and the management in regard to his on-field performances. Senior players bring in the experience, which they share with the youngsters and make the system stronger.”
The first ball of the first T20I is scheduled to be bowled at 2pm.
1st T20I – Friday, 2pm
2nd T20I – Saturday, 2pm
3rd T20I – Monday, 2pm