Shahid Afridi, the former Pakistan skipper, has said that the addition of middle-order batsman Shoaib Malik into the T20 World Cup will hold the side in good stead once the tournament starts.
On Saturday, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) named former skipper Shoaib Malik as a replacement for Sohaib Maqsood for the ICC men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
Shahid Afridi Feels Good To See Shoaib Malik Recalled For 2021 T20I World Cup
Sohaib Maqsood was finally ruled out of the showpiece event due to a sustained lower back injury and was replaced by senior batsman Shoaib Malik. Sohaib Maqsood had undergone MRI scans for the lower back on Thursday after picking up the injury during the October 6 match against Northern and consequently missed the October 7 match against Central Punjab.
“Good to see Shoaib Malik recalled for the T20 World Cup. As a senior and experienced player, he can contribute big time for Pakistan. All the best” tweeted Shahid Afridi.
“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,” said chief selector Muhammad Wasim in a statement.
Shahid Afridi earlier stated that he was left in a state of confusion over the selection of some players. Shahid Afridi claimed that some changes could be made to the Pakistan squad before the mega event began, which happened as Pakistan selectors eventually made changes from the originally selected squad.
Shoaib Malik’s last T20I was in September 2020, and his last ODI was in June 2019. He played 35 Tests, 287 ODIs, and 116 T20Is, amassing over 10,000 runs in all three formats combined, averaging above 30 in each. Shoaib Malik became the first Pakistani batsman to score 10,000 runs in Twenty20 cricket in October 2020. He is married to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza.
Shoaib Malik Captained Pakistan In The 2007 T20I World Cup
Shoaib Malik had captained Pakistan in the inaugural event in 2007 and was a member of the side that won the tournament in 2009. After missing the West Indies event in 2010, he featured in the next 3 T20I World cup tournaments- 2012, 2014, and 2016 tournaments. The Pakistan squad for the ICC men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will depart for Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on October 15.
They will play two warm-up matches against the West Indies and South Africa on October 18 and 20 before taking on India in a Group-2 fixture on October 24 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali have replaced Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain, respectively, while Fakhar Zaman, originally named a travel reserve, has swapped places with Khushdil Shah. In addition, veteran batsman Shoaib Malik has been included in Pakistan’s Twenty20 World Cup squad, replacing top-order batsman Sohaib Maqsood, who was ruled out due to a back problem.