Pakistani cricketers cannot be ignored: Malik


Upbeat about the Champions League T20 2012, which starts today in South Africa, Shoaib Malik, the Sialkot Stallions’ captain, has expressed that Pakistan possess immense natural talent and the country’s players must not be ignored in any tournament around the world. Sialkot’s participation in the tournament is of more significance as they are the first Pakistan team to be taking part in the illustrious competition, which involves the domestic champions from all across the globe.
Ironically, the Stallions were all set to play the inaugural edition of the CLT20 in 2008; however, the tournament was cancelled due to the Mumbai terror attacks, which halted the sporting relations between the neighbouring countries.
Malik understands that some things are controlled by the governments but taking into account the cricketing talent in the country, Pakistan players should be encouraged to play in all major events. His side has done splendidly well in the T20 format, winning the national championship many times over the last eight years. The former Pakistan captain is optimistic about his team’s chances in the glamorous tournament. “Wherever cricket is being played, Pakistan cricketers should go and play there,” he said. “We know there are certain rules and regulations, but that is my opinion. We really like this format and we have done well in it. This tournament is an opportunity for us.” In their warm-up match against Yorkshire, Sialkot failed to make an impression, losing by 23 runs, which must have rung alarm-bells among the team management, which expects the side to do well against the best in the world. However, Malik thinks that Sialkot could not play up to their potential as they did not get any time to adjust in the South African conditions, which are quite different from Pakistan. “We arrived in South Africa at around midnight on Saturday evening and played the game the next morning. We were very tired and we are still a little tired. But it’s great to be here, it’s a great tournament and we are now prepared for it,” the former Pakistan captain added.