Erstwhile batting great Inzamam-ul-Haq feels that former captain Saleem Malik should be a second chance to serve Pakistan by helping young cricketers along with his experience.
“It is unfortunate to determine that his career ended like that. It shouldn’t have ended that way. But I think he deserves a second inning [chance] to try and do something for the country,” Inzamam said during a video message on his YouTube channel.
Malik, 57, was banned forever from cricket in 2000, following allegations of offering a bribe to some Australian cricketers to underperform in 1994-95 Karachi Test.
A local court in Lahore, however, ruled in his favour and overturned the ban in October 2008.
Giving an example of former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin, Inzamam said that the ex-Indian batting legend also faced similar charges, but after lifting of the ban he again began to serve his country and currently was Hyderabad Cricket Association’s president.
“Similarly, as Saleem Malik’s that point has passed [ban is lifted], he should even be seen on the bottom in some cricketing activity or a minimum of he should appear on some TV channels for his expert opinion,” he said.
According to Inzamam, Malik had a really sharp cricketing brain and was an excellent analyzer of a situation. “I’ve not seen anyone analyzing matters like him. i believe he [still] has enough material which he can die to the young players, either by coaching them or giving his opinion,” he said.
Inzamam, who had been playing under Saleem Malik’s captaincy said that he enjoyed very cordial relations with him at that point. He said Malik’s record, both as a player and as a captain was quite impressive. He said Malik also had the power to determine a player’s potential and sometimes used tell them which batsman would score more runs or which bowler would take more wickets in an upcoming series. “I must say that 90 per cent of his those predictions proved correct,” he reflected.
“I was his junior and he wont to take really excellent care of me. I have to say that he was an excellent player, whose entire focus always remained upon the matches.
“I’ve not seen much batsmen shuffling in batting like Saleem Malik. He also taught that skill to me,” he added.
Recalling his initial days in international cricket Inzamam said, he grew in an environment where senior players including Imran Khan, Javed Miandad and Saleem Malik wont to teach skills to the young players. “Whenever he [Malik] noticed that a replacement player with some potential is a component of the team, he got closer to him to share the ways to enhance fitness level and batting techniques.
“The things which he wont to tell us aren’t normally taught in coaching. He also wont to tell us to be focused on the bottom only and do not listen to what’s happening around.
“Everyone does [teaches] you routine things. But these are the guidelines which take you forward and alter your career,” he reckoned.
He said that he still had excellent relations with Malik and after retirement had been playing veterans [cricket] with him. “The good thing about him is that his fitness level remains amazing. He plays within the same way as he won’t to during his playing days. Allah has blessed him with a really good physique. I’ve never seen his body stiff or tired [even] after spending the whole day within the fielding or scoring 100.”
“I earnestly pray for him and want to determine him all over again within the ground. He has been our great player and that we should take pleasure in his expertise,” he added.
Malik, who made his international debut in 1982, scored 5,768 runs for Pakistan in 103 Tests and seven,110 in 283 one-day internationals.