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Malik - Afridi is the man

Temporary skipper happy to pass the buck after England series

Malik and Afridi embrace

Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik claims he is happy to hand the captaincy back to Shahid Afridi after the two-match Twenty20 series with England.

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"We have been playing together for 11 years and in my opinion he (Afridi) is the right choice."

Shoaib Malik

Quotes of the week

Controversial all-rounded Afridi will sit out the first game of the series on Friday after being handed a two-match ban for biting the ball on the team's dismal recent tour of Australia.

Despite Afridi's expected return for the second Twenty20 in Dubai, Malik will resume captaincy duties in an attempt to gain some continuity against Andy Flower's men.

But the 28-year-old revealed he has no intention of skippering the side in the World Twenty20 beginning in April.

"For me, I just love to play cricket for Pakistan. I just want to do well for my country," he said.

"My country needs me to captain for the next two matches and that is a great honour but I prefer it as a player more.

Mistakes

"Shahid Afridi is the right choice as captain. Of course it is a great honour to captain your country but Shahid has all the abilities to gel the boys together.

"We have been playing together for 11 years and in my opinion he is the right choice."

Malik admitted that Pakistan cricket has gone downhill since they lifted the World Twenty20 crown in England last summer, but he is eager to rectify that.

He said: "After winning the Twenty20 World Cup we went to Sri Lanka and didn't do well on that tour.

"We have been struggling ever since then but you learn from your mistakes and I'm sure we will work hard on those things which we are lacking, especially the number of dropped catches.

"That is an area we have to improve and we are working hard on our fielding.

"When you lose and you lose badly you have to take criticism but all I want from the players is to go out and give it their best shot."