Shoaib Malik. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Shoaib Malik, the Pakistan veteran, has been plying his trade at the highest level since 1999 and hasn’t shown signs of throwing in the towel at any stage by any means. Recently, the 38-year-old plied his trade for the Peshawar Zalmi in the 2020 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The Sialkot-born started the tournament with a few low scores and looked a tad out of touch.

In the Zalmi’s fourth match against the Karachi Kings in Rawalpindi, Malik scored 68 runs and found his mojo back. The seasoned campaigner carried on with his form in the next game against the Quetta Gladiators as well. He got 54 runs and created plenty of headaches for the opposition. In the rain-curtailed game against the Islamabad United, he didn’t get an opportunity to bat.

Shoaib Malik shining for the Zalmi

But there was no stopping Malik. In the Zalmi’s penultimate game against Lahore Qalandars, Malik got 62 runs at the Gaddafi Stadium. It was his third fifty on the trot in games where he got chances to bat. He finished off with a 30 against table-toppers Multan Sultans. The Zalmi, led by Wahab Riaz, made it through to the semis mostly because of Malik, winning four of their 10 league matches.

Quite naturally, the Zalmi were delighted with him. On their Twitter handle, the PSL franchise asked the fans to describe the batsman in one word. In the meantime, Rashid Latif, the former Pakistan cricketer, seemed impressed with Malik’s energy on the cricket field. The retired wicketkeeper replied to the Zalmi and wrote, “Athlete,”

Here is Rashid’s reply

Back in July 2019, Malik hung his boots from ODI cricket after the World Cup in England and Wales. Then in August, he didn’t get a central contract from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). He didn’t get a chance in Pakistan’s home series against Sri Lanka and then the away series versus Australia.

But after Pakistan’s poor show in 2019, the management went back to Malik in the T20I series against Bangladesh. In the very first game in Lahore, Malik churned out an unbeaten 58 and guided his team to glory. He is expected to be a part of Pakistan’s squad in the upcoming T20 World Cup.