April 26, 2011

Shoaib Malik turns to club cricket

Akhila Ranganna

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik last played for Pakistan in August 2010 in England and was even left out of their World Cup squad. So what does he do? He turns out to play club cricket in India. Malik, who is married to Indian tennis player Sania Mirza, has apparently been playing for Turf Cricket Academy in New Delhi for the past couple on months. “Malik was here as a TV expert for a channel during the World Cup,” Sachin Khurana, who owns Turf Academy, told the Hindustan Times. “He hadn't been getting an opportunity to play cricket, so he asked us if he could play. He practiced with us at Modern School, Barakhamba Road, and even played in local events.” Malik will be playing for them in a local Twenty20 tournament and even scored 123 off 57 balls in a game on Friday.

"Match practice is the best and back home in Pakistan, it's difficult to gather net bowlers for practice, even at the academy,” Malik told the Indian Express. “Good bowlers are usually busy playing matches and it had been quite some time I spent in Delhi, and jab koi yaar dost bula lete hai [when friends call] I come and play.”

Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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