LAHORE - Shoaib Malik's two year tenure as Pakistan captain expires on Wednesday, but in all probability the Pakistan Cricket Board is likely to retain the all-rounder for another year. With no suitable replacement in sight and his fine performances with the national as well as domestic team in the last couple of matches this year, the Pakistan Cricket Board is expected to retain Malik as the skipper Malik took up the top job from Inzamam-ul Haq after Pakistan's disastrous outing in the 2007 World Cup with the PCB preferring to ignore senior players like Mohammad Yousuf, who defected to the rebel Indian Cricket League, Shahid Afridi and even Shoaib Akhtar while appointing him. However, Malik faced severe criticism from all quarters since taking up the job and even Yousuf held the all-rounder responsible for his jump to the ICL. But Malik, who has shown gradual improvement as captain and also upped his own performances, has admitted he is trying to improve his communication skills with the players. To add to that, Malik also has the backing of coach Intikhab Alam who insisted that he should be given the responsibility for both Test and one-day cricket after chief selector Abdul Qadir suggested having different teams and captains for the two formats of the game. However, the captaincy issue has already generated plenty of bad blood with Malik accusing some sections of media and former players from Karachi of running a campaign against him. During the recent Pentangular Cup One-Day tournament held in Karachi and even before that, on some occasions, Malik remarked informally he was unhappy with the way some media persons and former players from Karachi had targeted him and his captaincy. A few times, Malik even avoided talking to some Karachi based media persons who he feels are against him because he is from Punjab. This has unfortunately led to a pro-Malik camp made up of the media corps of Lahore and some former players from Punjab and officials in the PCB openly insisting they would not allow Malik to be stripped of the captaincy because of the campaign. "The result is that no one is willing to sensibly review Malik's captaincy results from a purely cricketing point of view but have turned it into a Punjab-Karachi rivalry issue," one former player said. A member of the Punjab team that recently won the Pentangular Cup under Malik's captaincy disclosed that he had never seen the allrounder so pumped up to do well in a domestic tournament. "It was as if he wanted to prove a point by winning the tournament in Karachi," he added. The Karachi-Lahore rivalry or Karachi-Punjab rivalry has always existed in Pakistan cricket but never been mentioned loudly but apparently in Malik's case things have been different. "There should be no such feeling because the Pakistan team is made up of players from different provinces and cities and Malik represents Pakistan not Punjab," former Test captain Rashid Latif said. He said during is playing days he never really encountered any such problems while playing domestic cricket or for the national team. "I don't know why this feeling has cropped up. The rivalry has always been there but it has only led to healthy competition," he said.