Shoaib Malik was not offered a contract for any part of the current season, according to the Hampshire County Cricket Club.
Hampshire’s clarification comes just three days after the former captain said he had refused various county offers, including ones from Hampshire and Essex, in order to make himself available for national selection.
“I was offered county contracts through my representative but I refused to sign the deal because of a strict clause in those contracts,” Malik had told The Express Tribune on May 3.
“The teams sought assurance that I’ll be forced to play for them if I sign the deal, even if I was selected for Pakistan. That left me with no option but to turn them down as making a return to the national side is my priority. I’m hoping to regain my place in the squad ahead of the Sri Lanka tour.”
While Hampshire confirmed to The Express Tribune that no such offer was made to the former Pakistan captain, Essex, when contacted, was surprised at Malik’s description of the contract ‘offered’.
“No county is permitted to include such a clause,” confirmed an Essex County Cricket Club spokesperson. “An NOC would not be granted if it were included.”
Malik last represented Pakistan in the Twenty20 against England on February 27.
His poor show since his comeback last year forced the selectors to snub him for the Asia Cup squad, an event that Pakistan won after beating Bangladesh in the final.
Unable to replicate domestic cricket form
His form, and captaincy, in the domestic circuit has remained impressive though. Malik led PIA to the national one-day cup title and remained the highest run-scorer in the event (353 runs in seven matches) and the second highest wicket-taker (14 wickets).
He was also the man of the final after his unbeaten 80 and two wickets for 33 runs in the title-clash.
Sialkot Stallions won both domestic Twenty20 events under Malik’s captaincy, with the all-rounder picking up the man-of-the-final award in the Super Eight T20 Cup due to his unbeaten 62 in the chase.
He picked up seven wickets in the event and scored 101 in the five matches that Stallions played.
His performance in the national squad, however, has been poor. Malik last scored an international half-century in January 2010 against Australia. He has not reached that landmark in the last 31 innings and has not scored a century since the match-winning 128 against India in Centurion.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2012.
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