PSL: Shoaib Malik resigns as captain of Karachi Kings, Ravi Bopara named successor
Karachi Kings’ dismal form in the PSL has resulted in skipper Shoaib Malik stepping down from his post with English all-rounder Ravi Bopara taking over till the end of the inaugural edition of the PSL, starting with the upcoming playoff round, ESPNCricinfo reports.
Interestingly, speaking to reporters on Wednesday after Kings’ loss against a Brad Hodge-inspired Peshawar Zalmi side, Bopara had criticised Malik’s decision to bat first after winning the toss as well as their overall showing in group stages.
“We played poorly throughout the league, we do not deserve to be through to play-off if I am brutally true,” Bopara had said, as reported by the Dawn. However, it is yet to be ascertained whether those comments had a bearing on Shoaib’s decision.
Featuring a strong line-up that includes the likes of Shakib-al Hasan, Lendl Simmons, Mohammad Amir and many others apart from Shoaib Malik, Kings were considered one of the leading title contenders before the start of the group stages.
However, they only managed to sneak through to the next stage of the tournament due to a better head-to-head record against Lahore Qalandars, with both teams finishing on four points with two wins from eight matches.
The Pakistani all-rounder expressed hope that his decision provides a change in fortune for his side as well as from a personal point of view.
"End of the day the team is suffering. Hence, I decided not to lead the team in the rest of the matches (this season). It is possible that I can concentrate more on my batting, bowling, fielding instead of handling so many things," Malik said.
"I was struggling to focus on my own game. I'm hoping we put up a good show tomorrow and for the rest of the tournament."
Malik, who has scored 157 runs in eight matches, at an average of 26.16 and a strike rate of 113.76, also added that he was not averse to being dropped from the side should the management feel so.
"Perhaps the team can get better. Maybe if someone else takes the (captaincy) responsibility then Karachi Kings could start winning. We have seen in the PSL that if a player has not played some matches then the team has started winning," he said.
One will have to wait and watch to see whether being relieved of captaincy duties does the trick for Shoaib, but Karachi fans will certainly be hoping that the skipper’s hat doesn’t hurt the in-form Bopara who is currently second on both the run-scoring and wicket-taking charts with 292 runs at an average of 58.40 and a strike rate of 137, while also picking up 11 wickets at an economy rate of 6.57.