Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja has called for veterans Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez to 'gracefully retire' from international cricket and pave way for youngsters waiting for their chance. Speaking to the media via a video conference, Ramiz Raja urged Hafeez and Malik to step down from the national side, claiming that they had served enough and that it was time for other talents to get some space. Rumours of Malik and Hafeez's future in international cricket have been speculated ever since the end of the World Cup in 2019, however, both veterans have not hinted at making any calls on their future soon.
“I come across both during my assignments that is why I avoid making personal comments. There is no doubt both have served Pakistan cricket well all these years. But now I think it is time they gracefully retired from the Pakistan team,” he said.
“I think if they retire now it will help Pakistan cricket. We have a good pool of players and we must move ahead,” he added.
Malik, a former Pakistan captain, had said after retiring from ODIs after the last World Cup that he would also call it quits in T20 Internationals. "I will have to see my fitness and position in the national side closer to the World Cup than I will take a decision on final retirement," he told reporters. The all-rounder also said he didn't take criticism to heart as it is like having breakfast in the morning in Pakistan cricket.
"One becomes used to it. I don't take it to heart. As I am not an insecure person and I have achieved a lot in life. For me even now to play for Pakistan is the biggest honour and perform as well as a senior professional. "As far as my being dropped after the World Cup is concerned as a professional cricketer I have seen lot of ups and downs in life and I took it in my stride."