Former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik is playing for Barbados in the Caribbean Premier League. (Getty Images)
Port-of-Spain, Jamaica: Discarded Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik has backed himself to play at the international level for at least five more years as he makes a bid for a recall. He also sent a message to Pakistan's selectors that if chosen to play for the country, he should be batted higher up the order.
"Representing your country is the biggest thing [and] of course I want to play for my team [Pakistan], I want to do well for my country," Malik told reporters in the Caribbean. "I still think I can play for another five or six years. I am fit but I want to see myself consistent. I do not want to bat at No. 6 anymore. I want to bat at No 3 or 4."
Malik, 31, last represented Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy in June but was dropped from the side after a disappointing tournament. Malik scored just 25 runs in three innings with a best of 17 and with the ball took a solitary wicket. He has since been overlooked for tours to the West Indies and Zimbabwe.
"I was struggling with my shoulder and my elbow but I have had surgery for my elbow and I have worked hard in the gym every day [since being dropped]," said the former Pakistan captain. "Now I am absolutely fine. I can even bowl 30 overs in one day. I am very happy and I want to play as an allrounder. That is my priority."
Currently representing Bardados Tridents in the inaugural Caribbean Premier League, Malik is the second-highest run-scorer with 233 from seven innings. Ahead of Barbados' semi-final against Jamaica Tallawahs, Malik said he was enjoying his time in the West Indies playing Twenty20 cricket. "It [CPL] is so far, so good [for me]. I have played some good innings, [I have been] bowling also. I want my team to be in the final and win this CPL."