Malik to captain troubled Pakistan

LAHORE, Pakistan, April 19, 2007 (AFP) – Pakistan Thursday appointed Shoaib Malik to succeed Inzamam-ul-Haq as national cricket captain, saying the young all-rounder symbolised the team’s future after a dismal World Cup. The 25-year-old Malik, who has played 18 Tests and 137 one-day internationals, was unveiled at a press conference here as captain of the Test and one-day squads until the end of 2007.

“He is the future of cricket. He has intelligence and he has a good cricketing mind,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf told reporters.

“Malik is the personality to get the best from players both senior and junior,” Ashraf added. “He is a unanimous choice. He is the best man to lead the team.”

Malik’s first challenge is due to be a three-match one-day international series against Sri Lanka next month.

“I am very motivated. I will give 110 percent,” Malik told the press conference. He added that the team was “very good” but needed a stable opening pair and to improve its fielding.

Talat Ali was meanwhile appointed manager of the Pakistan cricket team for two years, Ashraf said. No decision has been made on a vice-captain.

The appointment of the relatively inexperienced Ma