Malik Plays Down Differences with Yousuf

DUBAI — Ever since Mohammad Yousuf mentioned the ‘one player’ who spoiled the unity in Pakistan team during their recent Australian tour, the media focus has been on Shoaib Malik and his reaction.

By Adur Pradeep

Published: Tue 16 Feb 2010, 12:08 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:31 AM

Malik chose to hit back through media before both the players were summoned by a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) inquiry committee for an explanation on Saturday.

The meeting seems to have its desired result as Malik, while talking to reporters here, tried to present a cool picture when asked about his differences with the former captain.

“That (the controversy) is history now. I have answered all those questions earlier. In fact, I went to the six-member PCB inquiry committee yesterday and explained my version. Now, I just want to concentrate on cricket,” Malik said.

Malik leads Pakistan in the two-match WorldCall Twenty20 matches against England at the Dubai Sports City stadium this weekend.

Pakistan might have had a forgettable Australian tour recently, but their record in Twenty20 matches is outstanding. The world champions won 21 of their 28 matches.

“We are the world champions. I think we know how to play T20 cricket than any other team in the world,” Malik said at a press conference in the Grand Hyatt here on Sunday.

However, he is not taking England lightly. He looks forward to have a good outing against England. “England are a good side and they had a very good tour against South Africa recently. Their morale must be high.

“It is going to be tough matches for both the sides. We have quite a few good youngsters in our team. They did well in our first-class and Twenty20 tournaments.

“These two matches give us a great opportunity before the Twenty20 World Cup.”

He wants to shift the team’s focus to the new series.

“We didn’t play well against Australia. But you always learn from your mistakes. We worked hard for these two matches. When you lose, these controversies arise. We had quite a few meetings and we talked about what went wrong in Australia.”

He admitted that in the shorter format of the game, there are no clear favourites as such.

“In T20s, you don’t have the margin for error. You need two good bowlers who could bowl their eight tight overs and two good batsmen who could score 50-plus runs. In this format, you have to be on your toes always.”

Pakistan’s record in the UAE is also remarkable, as they are quite familiar with the wickets here.

“On the pitches here, you get bounce as well. The pitches are similar to the sub-continent and we have an advantage.”

He is very much impressed with the facilities at the Dubai Sports City.

“It is a great wicket. Last year we played against Australia. The Aussie players also said the wickets, facilities and atmosphere here were awesome.”

Regarding the Indian Premier League-related controversy where none of the Pakistan players were selected for this year’s tournament, Malik said: “Well, we are professional cricketers and right now we are playing for our country. All other things are secondary. Now we are just concentrating on these two matches.”

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