Shoaib Malik is a Pakistani cricketer and a former captain of the Pakistan team. He was born in Sialkot, Punjab, of Pakistan on 1 February 1982 and is a batting all-rounder like former team mate and captain Shahid Afridi.
He bowls right-arm off-break and is a right-handed middle-order batsman. He is capable of hitting big shots and is good at rotating the strike. He is one of best T20 players for Pakistan and is also his side’s highest run getter in T20s.
Before becoming involved seriously in cricket, Malik used to play tape-ball cricket in the streets during his childhood. He realised his potential only after joining Imran Khan’s coaching centres in Sialkot in 1993/94.
He originally played as a batsman, and then picked up bowling. He was selected for the Pakistan U-15 team after attending trials. He became a part of the squad through his bowling skills.
He currently plays for the Sialkot Stallions and also captains the side. He has previously played for Barbados Tridents, Gloucestershire, Delhi Daredevils, Gujranwala Cricket Association, Karachi Kings, Pakistan International Airlines, Hobart Hurricanes, Pakistan Reserves and Sialkot Cricket Association.
Shoaib Malik made his ODI debut on 14 October 1999 against West Indies. He picked up two wickets in the debut match before his career drifted towards batting.
His Test debut came on 29 August 2001, against Bangladesh where Pakistan won by an innings and 264 runs. His Test career took a sharp dip and he scored his first test century only 5 years after his debut.
He made his T20I debut on the same day as counterpart Shahid Afridi on 28 August 2006 against England.
Rise to Glory
Shoaib Malik’s rise to prominence as an all-rounder was marked with controversy when he was inspected in 2001 for his bowling action. In spite of his bowling drawbacks, Malik was a good batsman and used in five positions in tests.
He is the only cricketer to have played in all positions except 11th. Malik became a regular opener for Pakistan in tests and ODIs until there came a proper replacement.
His big-impression knock came in 2006 against Sri Lanka, when he scored 148 runs to save the match by batting for a whole day.
All his test centuries (3 of them) have come in matches ending in a draw. He has gathered a total of nine ODI centuries, four of them coming against arch-rivals India. He has six fifties in T20s and is a reliable middle-order batsman.
Shoaib Malik’s career has not exactly been consistent, and has endured a bumpy ride. His bowling action was first reported in 2001 before he fractured his right shoulder trying to attempt a catch.
Again in 2004, his action was reported to the ICC for “potentially flawed bowling action”. He was cleared eight months later, and that has caused him to minimise bowling. He was banned from a test in 2005 after he confessed to deliberately losing a match.
He is known for his struggle against England, where he has an average of 8.16 in 12 ODIs. He was banned for a year in 2010 when there was a report of fighting within the team.
In July 2003, Malik played for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club. He endured an impressive spell in 2003 and his contract was renewed till 2004. Over the course of his two seasons at Gloucestershire, Malik played eight first-class matches, scoring 214 runs at an average of 17.83 with two fifties and taking 15 wickets at an average of 45.06, with best bowling figures of 3/76.
When Lancashire approached Malik to play for them for the T20s, Malik accepted the offer but later pulled out when he was selected for the 2010 Asia Cup squad. He has also played for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.
Shoaib Malik became Pakistan’s fourth youngest captain at the age of 25 when he took over as captain on 19 April 2007. He won his first series as captain, beating Sri Lanka 2-1.
He lost the next two series against South Africa and India. His captaincy lasted a total of two years during which he won 24 out of the 36 ODIs, and 12 out of 17 T20Is. His test spell was unsuccessful, and he managed to get only a draw out of three, losing the other two.
Malik has five Man of the Series Awards and 18 Man of the Match Awards to his name in ODIs. He is the highest run scorer for Pakistan in T20s with more than 1821 runs.
Malik announced his retirement in the longer format stating that he wanted to concentrate on the 2019 World Cup. He is an integral part of the Pakistan team in the shorter formats of the game.