Malik announces shock Test retirement


Pakistan veteran batsman Shoaib Malik has made a shock announcement to say that he is retiring from Test cricket after the current match against England in Sharjah, and will conserve his energy for the shorter formats.

Malik made his return to the Test side in this series after five years on the sidelines, and he made a blistering return in Abu Dhabi, scoring a double century. He made his announcement after day three's play, to the surprise of his team-mates.

The 33-year-old said at an impromptu press conference appearance: "I am taking retirement from Test cricket and this is my last Test."

I would like to thank my family, cricket board, my team-mates and my supporting staff as they have supported me all the way along. I think it's the right time to quit this format and I want to focus on the upcoming 2019 World Cup.

"Cricket is my passion, has always been, and I might keep on playing first-class cricket, but the main reasons I am retiring are because of my family, and to allow youngsters [in the Test team] to be groomed.

"Now is the time, amid the settled line-up, we can easily fit them in without any hitch. Since I haven't played many 50-overs World Cups, I want to play [in England] and I am looking ahead to get ready by quitting Test cricket so I can save my energy."

He added of his recent experiences: "I am disappointed that I didn't play Test cricket in the last five years and those were the years I wanted to play.

"But that is part of life and you move on. Now I can see many youngsters knocking at the door and it's the best time to allow them to get adjusted.

"It was tough to take a call as I could have played for another two years. But Test cricket is probably the toughest format, and we have a settled line-up.

"Representing Pakistan is a biggest honour but I have been thinking about [retirement] for a while. It was somewhere in my mind even before the double hundred [in Abu Dhabi] but, at the moment, my satisfaction is to walk away from this format.

"My fitness is fine but I think we have to step aside to allow youngsters to take over."