Shoaib Malik on Monday issued a stern clarification and established his stance after infuriated fans came down heavily at him and other Pakistani cricketers for videos that showed them having a laidback time at a Shisha café late at night before the crucial World Cup encounter.
In an angry tweet, Malik slammed the Pakistani media for sensationalizing and distorting facts purporting to his personal life, and said that the videos doing rounds were from June 13 and not June 15, the night before the match.
“When will Pak media be accountable for their credibility by our courts?! Having served my country for +20 years in Intl Cricket, it’s sad that I have to clarify things related to my personal life. The videos are from 13th June and not 15th,” he wrote, further attaching the Pakistan Cricket Board’s official statement in the tweet.
He also urged the media to not drag his and his team’s personal lives into “petty” squalor.
“On behalf of all athletes I would like to request media and people to maintain respect levels in regards to our families, who should not be dragged into petty discussions at will. It’s not a nice thing to do,” he said.
When will Pak media be accountable for their credibility by our courts?!— Shoaib Malik 🇵🇰 (@realshoaibmalik) June 17, 2019
Having served my country for +20 years in Intl Cricket, it’s sad that I have to clarify things related to my personal life. The videos are from 13th June and not 15th
Details : https://t.co/Uky8LbgPHJ
On behalf of all athletes I would like to request media and people to maintain respect levels in regards to our families, who should not be dragged into petty discussions at will. It’s not a nice thing to do— Shoaib Malik 🇵🇰 (@realshoaibmalik) June 17, 2019
After India extended their unblemished World Cup record against Pakistan with a resounding victory at Manchester on Sunday, fans from the neighbouring country lashed out at the team for not displaying the zeal to win and questioned their fitness levels when compared to Virat Kohli’s men.
As the fans looked for reasons to blame for the loss, a number of photos and videos emerged on social media that allegedly showed Pakistani cricketers at a Shisha café late at night before the crucial World Cup encounter.
But the Pakistan Cricket Board has rubbished the claims that players violated the "curfew". A spokesperson told Dawn News that the videos and photographs that went viral are from two days before the match.
"The day before the match against India, all the players were in their hotel rooms by curfew time," he added.
The viral video had showed Pakistani all-rounder Shoaib Malik along with his wife and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and other Pakistani cricketers like Wahab Riaz and Imam-ul Haq reportedly enjoying shisha at the lounge a day before the World Cup match. This was blamed as the chief reason for the defeat.
Some cricket fans claimed they saw Shoaib Malik smoking shisha at 2am at the lounge on Winslow Road in Manchester, while others were having junk food, including “burgers and pizzas”.
#Pakistan cricket fans say they saw Shoaib Malik & others smoking Shisha at 2am on Wilmslow Road, few hours before match against India.@TheRealPCB @ImranKhanPTI #IndiavsPakistan #PakvsInd #IndvsPak #CWC19 #Manchester pic.twitter.com/ODfyrEHkJF— Ali Javed (@AliJaved24) June 17, 2019
Shoaib Malik of the #pakistancricketteam at midnight, hours before the most crucial match of the #CricketWorldCup2019 In Curry Mile In a Shisha cafe. Add the burgers and deserts, no wonder they performed dismally at Old Trafford. They should be ashamed. Every single one of them. pic.twitter.com/Dr8gHWdF9M— Mohammed Shafiq (@mshafiquk) June 16, 2019
Sania Mirza, who was photographed along with cricketer husband Shoaib Malik, also responded to the allegations, saying, "[The] 'outing' was dinner, and yes, people are allowed to eat if they lose a match!"
😂That’s the video you shot without asking us,disrespecting our privacy even though we had a child with us?& got told off for doing so,& u came up with this crap?FYI ‘outing’ was dinner & yes ppl are allowed to eat if they lose a match!Bunch of fools!Try better content nxt time😂 https://t.co/51gnkMWUYu— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) June 15, 2019
The reported outing just before the match has sparked anger among Pakistani fans, more so aimed at Shoaib Malik who was dismissed for a duck on the first ball he faced.
Oh and shoaib Malik sb was practicing hard at shisha cafes in Bradford.— Syed Usman Shah (@Warpeds0ul) June 16, 2019
Well done boys, well played 👏 pic.twitter.com/p9jva91c1p
Pakistan players were hitting Archie’s and shisha up yesterday, what more can you expect of them today 😂— aisha (@ashiaa_c) June 16, 2019
Pakistan just didn't want to come into work today. Must've been all the shisha and Archie's from last night. Useless bunch of sportsmen.— Omar (@TheOmaRamo) June 16, 2019
In another video that has gone viral on social media, a teary-eyed Pakistani fan was heard saying that the players (Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed et al) were eating burgers before the game and that is why they lost. He goes on to add that Pakistan players are only good for 'dangal' and not cricket:
Some fans also compared the Pakistani players’ preparation to that of the Indian team and tagged the video posted by Virat Kohli in the gym ahead of the match.