x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Imran keeping the pressure on captain Malik

The Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik has very few friends in Pakistan cricket.

Shoaib Malik has much to do to silence his critics.
Shoaib Malik has much to do to silence his critics.

His predecessor Inzamam-ul-Haq has accused him of not treating the senior players with respect while Mohammed Yousuf made similar charges after quitting the team for the rebel Indian Cricket League. The real sore, however, is Malik's captaincy record: Pakistan have suffered a Test series defeat at home to South Africa and another one in India, while failing to qualify for the Asia Cup final - held in Pakistan earlier this year.

But the former captain Imran Khan said the Pakistan Cricket Board were responsible for the choices they made. "When I was the captain, I never expected to be announced the captain for more than one series," he said. "I cannot fathom how Malik was announced the captain for two years. It reflects the level of thinking in the system." "The president of the country, who knows nothing about cricket, picks the chairman of the board [Ejaz Butt], who might also know zero about the game," he added.

Imran, who led Pakistan to the 1992 World Cup triumph, believes Malik is not an automatic choice in the playing XI and doesn't deserve to be the skipper. "A captain has to command respect," Imran said. "You cannot do that if your own place in the team is in doubt." Malik, though, will hope to silence his critics during the course of the three one-day internationals against the West Indies, starting tonight in Abu Dhabi.

arizvi@thenational.ae