Pakistan captain Babar Azam rules out Shoaib Malik return for T20 World Cup
In order to allow the team’s new talent more chances to grow, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has ruled out the experienced all-rounder Shoaib Malik‘s return to the T20 squad before the World Cup in Australia.
Malik, who completed his 124th Twenty20 International against Bangladesh in November of last year, has excelled in Pakistan’s domestic T20 league. With the World Cup and Asia Cup approaching, local media speculated that the 40-year-experience old’s may be of great value.
The former captain, an effective all-arounder, was not included in the squad for this month’s Asia Cup in UAE. And Babar stated that they were looking ahead to the upcoming World Cup in October-November.
“There are matches immediately after Netherlands. So it’s unlikely there will be time for changes,” Babar told reporters on Thursday ahead of their Dutch tour next week.
“When senior players leave the side, those replacing them need focus. (Mohammad) Hafeez and Malik were huge players and we’ll miss them a lot. And players like Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah and Iftikhar (Ahmed) need to fill their boots.
“We want to give them plenty of matches and confidence, and these players have performed.”
Before travelling to the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan will play three one-day internationals in Rotterdam. On August 28, they will play their opening Asia Cup match against India in Dubai.