Malik to continue as Pakistan cricket captain

January 2nd, 2009 - 12:38 am ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Jan 1 (IANS) Shoaib Malik will continue to lead the Pakistani cricket team as long as the 26-year-old all rounder “delivers”, the country’s cricket board chief Ijaz Butt said Thursday.The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman said Malik has been doing a fine job and will be retained as the Pakistan skipper in 2009.

“We will continue with Shoaib Malik till the time he delivers,” Butt, a former Pakistan Test opener, told reporters on his return home from Australia.

Butt’s announcement ended the suspense hovering over the issue of Pakistan cricket team captaincy.

Malik took over as Pakistan captain soon after the team crashed out of the 2007 World Cup under the captaincy of Inzamam-ul-Haq. Malik’s orginal tenure ended Dec 31.

Malik had the backing of Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam, who feels he is the right man for the job.

Malik, who was initially rejected by many critics as a weak captain, garnered support of ex-cricketers by leading Pakistan to a 3-0 clean sweep against the West Indies on a one-day series in Abu Dhabi last November.

Malik led Pakistan to 18 ODI wins in 21 matches in 2008 but most of those results were achieved against lower-ranked teams like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Hong Kong.

Malik has played 35 Tests and scored 1076 runs besides accumulating 4,665 runs from 170 ODI appearances in which he has also picked up 125 wickets.

During his tenure as the captain, Pakistan has lost both the Test series it played - against South Africa at home and against India in India in 2007.

Pakistan did not play a single Test in 2008.

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