Saleem Malik Biography
Saleem Malik is a former Pakistani cricketer, who was a right-hand batsman and an occasional right arm medium pacer. He was widely regarded as one of the craftiest batsmen of his generation but the latter part of his career was marred by a match fixing controversy.
Malik was born on 16 April 1963 in Lahore, Pakistan. He made his domestic debut in 1978-79 season. His skilled wristwork and aggression grabbed the attention of selectors.
Malik made his ODI debut in January 1982 against West Indies in Sydney in the Benson and Hedges World Series. It was not a high flying start in the ODIs for him but he set the stage alight in his Test debut where he scored a gritty century in the second innings against Sri Lanka in Karachi in 1982.
Rise to Glory
Malik played the role of a middle order anchorman and also led the Pakistan team for some time. His classy strokeplay attributed to a highly impressive Test average of 43.69.
He produced some sensational performances away from home, especially his quickfire 140 against New Zealand in Wellington in 1994. He starred in 1987 when Pakistan defeated England in their own turf.
One of his most memorable performance was against India in Kolkata in 1987 when he single handedly took Pakistan to victory in an improbable run chase. He smashed 72 of 36 balls as Pakistan won with 2 balls to spare.
He was a part of World Cup winning squad in 1992. His willow did not create the magic expected with a solitary half century against Sri Lanka being the only fine performance.
However, he was promoted to captaincy soon after Imran Khan retired after World Cup victory.
Saleem Malik was in the twilight of his glorious career when his name in match fixing charges started to surface. Australian cricketers Shane Warne and Tim May testified against him claiming that they were approached with a bribe to throw a Test match away in 1994.
Many other charges and evidence came to light and in 2000, he got the dubious distinction of being the first ever cricketer to be banned from playing under the charges of match fixing.
The verdict was passed after Justice Qayyum enquiry. After all the disgrace and shame, he finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel when a lower Pakistan court cleared him.
Saleem started his domestic career with Habib Bank Limited cricket team. He developed as a batsman during his stint with Essex from 1991-1993. He amassed close to 2000 runs in his first season at an impeccable average of 60.70.
Malik played 102 Tests and 283 ODIs for Pakistan. He has 5768 runs in Tests and 7170 runs in ODIs along with 89 ODI wickets. He achieved his highest Test score of 237 against Australia in Rawalpindi.