Watch: 40-year-old Shoaib Malik rolled back the years with a match-winning unbeaten half-century in Pakistan’s National T20 Cup.
Malik proved he remains a class act off the field as well as on it, handing the Player of the Match award to 19-year-old Qasim Akram, who also made a fifty in the game.
Playing for Central Punjab against Northern, Malik and Qasim joined forces with their side in trouble, 54-3 in pursuit of 164 to win. The pair put on a stand worth exactly 100 to all but assure their side of victory, with Qasim making 58 off 37 with eight fours, and Malik an unbeaten 62 off 39, with six fours and two sixes.
Mailk was adjudged Player of the Match, but chose to hand over the award to the teenager in the post-match presentation. Qasim, the captain of the Central Punjab side, joined in the broadcast interview with Malik after accepting the award.
“I would like to hand over this Man of the Match,” he said. “I think it [should be] Qasim. Being a youngster, he deserves this.” He also praised Qasim as having provided the turning point. Qasim was the early aggressor, striking 42 off his first 24 balls, compared to Malik’s 23 off his first 21.
Malik, a veteran of over 400 appearances for Pakistan, last played international cricket in November 2021. Qasim, widely considered one of Pakistan’s most promising young players, has represented his country in each of the last two Under-19 Cricket World Cups. He captained the side in the 2022 event, averaging 50.75 with a strike-rate of 118.02.
Watch Shoaib Malik hit a half-century and then give the Player of the Match award to Qasim Akram below:
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) September 16, 2022
Just now @realshoaibmalik won man of the match. But instead he chose to give it to 19 year old Qasim Akram. Shoaib Malik has always been the most humble senior cricketer in Pakistan. Great gesture. pic.twitter.com/4hJFcfmOko
— Haroon (@hazharoon) September 16, 2022