The world in 1999, when Shoaib Malik made his debut
Shoaib Malik made his ODI debut at age 17 in October 1999 against the West Indies
Malik is playing his sixth T20 World Cup
He retired from Test cricket in 2015 and from ODIs in 2019
Shoaib Malik, who played for Pakistan against India in the T20 World Cup in Dubai on Sunday, will be 40 in February. Not quite the oldest player on the field in the match - teammate Mohammad Hafeez is 41 - Malik has been playing the longest. He began playing for Pakistan in the last century.
Malik was a prodigy, making his ODI debut at age 17 in October 1999 against the West Indies. Twenty two years ago.
To put that in perspective, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of India in 1999, General Parvez Musharraf was not yet President of Pakistan and Bill Clinton was POTUS (President of the United States) and survivor of an impeachment trial.
Only three months had passed since the end of the Kargil war. 9/11 and the terror attack on the Indian Parliament would happen a full two years later.
There was no Facebook, no Twitter, and Google was pre-IPO. The first iPhone was almost a decade away. The world was nervous about Y2K.
Sachin Tendulkar ruled world cricket. Mohammad Azharuddin was still captaining India; he would be banned for match-fixing the next year. Wasim Akram was Shoaib Malik's captain on his debut in the Sharjah ODI in which Pakistan walloped the Windies.
India skipper Virat Kohli was 10 years old. Pakistan captain Babar Azam was 5.
Shoaib Malik,an allrounder and a former Pakistan captain, was not named in the squad that Pakistan announced in September this year for the T20 World Cup being played right now in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. He was called in to replace injured middle order batsman Sohaib Maqsood. Selectors said they were sure "Shoaib’s experience will be handy for the entire squad."
That meant Shoaib would play his sixth T20 World Cup. Malik was Pakistan captain in the first edition of the tournament in 2007 and was part of the Pakistan team that won the T20 World Cup in 2009.
In 2018, Shoaib Malik became the first male cricketer to play 100 T20 matches. He retired from Test cricket in 2015 and from ODIs in 2019, 20 years after his debut.
Shoaib Malik is married to Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza.