Pakistan chose to go with an unchanged playing XI in their last group game of the World Cup against Bangladesh at Lord’s in London on Friday.
An unchanged team meant veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik did not get an opportunity to play a “goodbye” one-day international match.
Malik had been sidelined since his duck in the match against India on June 16th. The 36-year-old who had announced he would retire from white-ball cricket at the end of World Cup only managed to score eight runs including two ducks in the three innings.
According to team sources, Malik had said he wished for his last World Cup to be remembered as a golden farewell, but it is clear now that his match against India was the last one, where he got dismissed on a nought—hardly a farewell any batsman would have wished for.
“2019 World Cup will be the last tournament of my ODI career and hopefully the team will succeed,” Malik had told reporters in Lahore at a press conference last year. He said he would continue to play T20 cricket after the end of his ODI career.
But Malik failed, overall, to contribute to the Pakistan team’s performance in the World Cup 2019 campaign, as his inclusion was justified by his experience.
He was also the first one to bowl against India but turned out to be an expensive off-spin bowler by giving away 11 runs in an over. He further displayed sloppy fielding in the prior matches, leaking boundaries, which proved him an unworthy investment in this mega event.
Since the beginning of 2018, Malik has shown a visible decline in his performances as he scored only three half-centuries in the last 30 ODIs, scoring 608 runs at an average of 25.33.
In his vast career of 287 ODIs, Malik has scored 7,534 runs, fetched nine centuries, 44 half-centuries, and taking 156 wickets, and 96 catches. Over time, he remained a very dominant and known part of the Pakistan cricket team owing to him being an all-rounder.
After an unforgivable performance in the World Cup 2019, it was highly unlikely that Malik would be included in any of the remaining matches for Pakistan.
He played his last ODI match against India on June 16.