Shoaib Malik is now a senior statesman in the Pakistan cricket team but is showing no signs of slowing down. The 37-year-old, however, has been in an out of the team in recent times. He last played an ODI in June 2019 while he was last seen in the whites of Pakistan way back in 2015. Playing his first T20I since February last year, Shoaib Malik made an immediate impact on his return with his unbeaten half-century helping Pakistan beat Bangladesh in the first Twenty20 International in Lahore on Friday. Not just on the field, but off it as well, the Pakistani veteran seems to be handling tough situations with aplomb.
In the post-match press conference, Shoaib Malik was put on the spot by a journalist, who asked him if he would be grooming Pakistan's coach Misbah-ul-Haq.
"Shoaib, you spoke about grooming youngsters in the team, which is a responsibility of a senior player. So, you are even more senior than your coach (Misbah-ul-Haq), will you groom him as well?" asked a reporter.
Shoaib Malik handled the tricky situation brilliantly, saying that the learning process never ends.
"There is no one in the world who can say that he has learnt everything. Sachin Tendulkar couldn't say that or other people couldn't say that they have learnt anything. Learning process never ends. Lot of cricketers and coaches have come and gone, a lot happened but the learning process never stopped.
"We go after people very quickly. We want overnight results, which doesn't happen. We need to show some patience and if someone has got a chance then we must wait a little. I understand, you guys want some masala, everyone wants masala but we need to think about the country as well sometimes," said the former Pakistan captain.
Here is a video of Shoaib Malik's brilliant response to the journalist:
On Friday, Shoaib Malik's 45-ball 58 not out for his eighth T20I half-century as Pakistan overhauled a modest 142-run target in 19.3 over to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Malik, playing his first match since February last year, was in sublime form as he hit five boundaries and added 46 for the third wicket with debutant Ahsan Ali who made 32-ball 36 with four boundaries.
Malik, fourth leading run-getter in Twenty20 internationals with 2321 in a record 112 matches, credited bowlers for the win.
"Congratulations to the whole Pakistan for this win and for hosting another match," said Malik. "It wasn't an easy pitch and our bowlers restricted them to a gettable total.
(With AFP inputs)