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Malik rejects reports of ‘grouping’ in team, says he respects Afridi

MOHALI: Former captain Pakistan cricket team Shoaib Malik has rejected allegations of ‘seniors indulging in politics’ against incumbent T20 captain Shahid Afridi.

“Shahid Afridi is like an elder brother to me and I have always respected Afridi like I did Inzimam, Wasim and Waqar,” he told a presser here.

Malik, who led his side to inaugural World T20 final against India in 2007, said “I was the person who quit as a captain in PSL, left Test cricket for youngsters…I can never play politics against Afridi.”

He said news of “grouping within team” start to surface when the team lose. He stressed that the team is united, adding that defeat in a game always raise questions.

No one could be happy more than me if we win the World T20 for Afridi, said Malik. He also clarified that he was not running after captaincy.

Pakistan began the World T20 campaign impressively against Bangladesh with a good win, however lost two matches to India and New Zealand, making its position vulnerable to exit from the tournament.

Team Pakistan will face Australia in a must-win game tomorrow that may revive some hopes for making it to the semi-finals. Ifs and Buts still srround Pakistan’s qualification to the semis. Pakistan have to beat Australia with a good run-rate margin, and On Sunday, Australia will have to beat India that makes points of the three teams to ‘four’. Team with a better run-rate will qualify for the semi final.

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