ICL: Indian Cricket League

Trust Shoaib Malik to deliver, says Pakistan manager


Early signs indicate that young all-rounder Shoaib Malik should go on to become a successful captain, Pakistan’s cricket manager Talat Ali Malik told ‘The News’ in an interview on Thursday.

“Malik carries a good head on his shoulders. He makes a lot of sense and the way he has carried himself on the field since taking over as Pakistan captain, it is clear to me that this player is the right man for the job,” said Talat, who played ten Tests for Pakistan from 1972-79.

He added, “Personally, I have a feeling that he has a bright future as Pakistan captain though you could only tell for sure after actually seeing him do the job in international matches”.

Malik, 25, was appointed as Pakistan captain last month after experienced batsman Younis Khan refused a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) offer to lead the team following the resignation of former skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq after the World Cup disappointment in the Caribbean.

The PCB ignored several senior players including premier batsman Mohammad Yousuf and went for Malik, a move that triggered fears that the Sialkot-born player might not get the support of the older players in the side.

Talat rejected the impression that Malik is in for a rough time saying that the mood in the Pakistani camp is very positive in spite of the change at the top.

“The attitude of all the players is very positive,” said Talat. “And the vibes I’ve been getting from the senior players are no different, they are all backing the new captain” he added.

Malik’s first outing as Pakistan skipper was the first phase of preparatory camp that concluded in Lahore last week and according to Talat, he faced no problems at all.

“It was crystal clear that everybody was supporting the new captain,” said the manager. “Malik also helped his own cause by leading assertively and carried himself well in the new role,” he added.

Talat, 56, is at the helm of Pakistan’s preparations for a three-match One-day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi from May 18-22, acting both as the team manager and coach.

Pakistan are going through uncertain times after flopping miserably in the World Cup where they lost to the West Indies and minnows Ireland and made an early exit from the 16-nation contest.

Talat agreed that Pakistan need to produce some positive results in the coming months to recompose their shattered confidence. “We need result and need them quick,” said Talat who broke his thumb on his Test debut against Australia as an opener in 1972.

He said that winning against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi would help his team’s cause. “Winning makes a lot of difference which is why beating Sri Lanka would do us a lot of good,” he expressed.

Talat is expecting a close series against Sri Lanka, who reached the World Cup final last month. “Sri Lanka are a good side but we won against them in our last match and can do it again in Abu Dhabi,” he asserted referring to Pakistan’s win over Sri Lanka in last fall’s Champions Trophy in India.

He said that the series would be a test of Malik’s leadership skills. Talat added that the return of medium pacer Mohammad Asif should boost Pakistan’s bowling attack.

Under Talat, Pakistan resumed their preparations for the series against Sri Lanka at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Thursday. The Pakistanis are scheduled to fly for Abu Dhabi on May 16.
Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Friday, May 11th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket, Cricket Stars.

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