Shoaib relishing Bears chance

Warwickshire BearsShoaib Malik insists he is ready to shoulder the burden of expectation as Birmingham Bears’ T20 specialist when he makes his debut against Durham Jets on Friday evening (Birmingham 4/5, Durham Evens – Match Prices).

The Pakistan star has signed up to play seven matches for the Midlanders in this season’s Natwest T20 Blast and will make his season bow against the north-east outfit at Edgbaston.

The Bears could certainly do with the points as they have won just one of their three games to date with victory over Leicestershire Foxes last time out, while Durham have won two from three (Bears 20/1 Tournament Outright).

And they will certainly be stronger for having Malik in their ranks, as he is vastly experienced in both shortened versions of the sport.

The 32-year-old has played 59 international 20-over matches to date, while enjoying spells in the IPL, the Caribbean Premier League and the Aussie Big Bash at domestic level.

He comes into the Birmingham side with pressure on his shoulders, however, as the Second City club have broken with tradition to sign a second overseas player to feature in the competition for the first time.

But, the former Pakistan captain has made it clear that he will not be overawed by the situation and is in town to help his side achieve their aims.

“My main goal during my stay is for Warwickshire to win games,” he said. “My second goal is that I want to be the main player in making that happen but, as long as the team is winning, that is the most important thing.”

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