Jozi Stars, the current holders of the Mzansi Super League trophy, have signed Shoaib Malik for their upcoming season. Malik will take over from Chris Gayle, who will be making an exit from the Jozi Stars post their sixth game.
“It’s very exciting for me to be joining Jozi Stars as I’ve never played domestic cricket in South Africa previously, although I have obviously played many times there with my country,” Malik said on his signing. “Hopefully we can be successful, and I look forward to contributing to the cause when I join up with them.”
Head Coach Donovan Miller was all praise for Malik’s adaptability and leadership skills, pointing to the important role he’s going to play for the Stars in the upcoming edition which starts November 8.
“We’re extremely excited to have Shoaib Malik for the backend of our campaign. I had the pleasure of working with him in Canada during the Global T20. He’s obviously one of the best middle order batters in this format; unbelievable leader who fits into any environment and gives our batting line up plenty of options at the later stages of the competition. He’s more of a touch player, with elegance and one of the best finishers in the T20 format,” Miller said.
Malik, 37, comes with his plethora of international experience, which he has propped up with his more recent role as a travelling T20 player. Malik will not just bolster that middle order but also provide a spin variant to Stars’ bowling attack, something Gayle wasn’t able to do on a regular basis.
“As a batsman he is capable of fulfilling many roles within the batting order. He has had success as an opener in Tests and ODIs and has been a game-changer in limited-over matches in the No. 3 role,” Jono Leaf-Wright, Central Gauteng Lions CEO, said. “He is the fourth-highest run-scorer in Twenty20 history behind Gayle, McCullum and Pollard, and is a good T20 spinner as well. We are very excited to welcome Shoaib to our set up and seeing him excite our Jozi Stars fans with his brilliance.—Agencies