Former captain and veteran batsman Shoaib Malik returns to Pakistan‘s T20I setup and has been drafted straight into the 15-man T20 World Cup squad as a replacement for the injured Sohaib Maqsood, the PCB announced on Saturday.
Maqsood, who has been an in-form batsman, had undergone MRI scans for his lower back pain on Thursday. He picked up the injury on October 6 while playing during the National T20 Cup.
Shoaib Malik hasn’t featured in a T20I for Pakistan for 12 months. He captained Pakistan in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, when Pakistan lost to India in the final. He was part of the Pakistan team that won the tournament in 2009. He missed out in 2010 but featured in the 2012, 2014 and 2016 editions of the T20 World Cup.
Chief selector Muhammad Wasim: “Sohaib is devastated to miss out on the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup as he had worked hard for this event and was in sparkling form. We feel for him but injuries are part and parcel of the sport. I am sure after undergoing rehabilitation, he’ll fully recover to be available for future assignments.
“In his place and following discussions with the team management, we have decided to include Shoaib Malik in the side. I am sure Shoaib’s experience will be handy for the entire squad.”
The Pakistan squad has arrived in Lahore for their week-long training camp. They will depart for Dubai on 15 October.
Babar Azam’s side will play two warm-up matches against the West Indies and South Africa on 18 and 20 October, respectively before taking on India in a Group-2 encounter on 24 October at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
After facing India, they will then meet New Zealand, Afghanistan, and two other teams who will qualify from Round 1 in the Super 12 stage.
Pakistan T20 World Cup squad:
Babar Azam (C), Shadab Khan (VC), Asif Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Shaheen Afridi, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik
Travelling reserves: Usman Qadir, Khushdil Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani