Senior batter Shoaib Malik was one of the notable absentees from Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad, which was announced on Thursday, September 15. Former captain Shahid Afridi believes that the all-rounder should have been added to the team for the marquee T20 event.
Afridi mentioned that Malik would have solved Pakistan’s middle-order woes, given his impressive record in global T20 leagues. He also suggested that skipper Babar Azam would have benefited from having such an experienced player in the lineup.
He made these remarks while speaking on Samaa TV on Thursday, September 15. Afridi said:
“He has played cricket across the globe and has done well everywhere. He is a top choice for every franchise. He is also supremely fit. Babar Azam would have gotten a lot of support if Malik had been there, even if he was on the bench.”The selectors should have communicated with him if he wasn’t a part of their plans.”
Speaking about Malik’s controversial tweet after the recently concluded Asia Cup, Afridi opined that the former could have avoided speaking publicly about his selection. He believes that the veteran all-rounder should have waited till the announcement of Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad before posting the tweet.
“I think Malik should not have posted such a tweet. He should have waited for the team’s announcement. I think he deserves to be a part of the squad,” Afridi added.
Shoaib Malik, who was ignored by the selectors for the Asia Cup 2022, took an indirect dig at the team management following the continental event. He expressed his displeasure over players being selected on the basis of their friendships.
“Could have added Shoaib Malik to the squad for the England series” – Shahid Afridi
Shoaib Malik has represented Pakistan in 124 T20Is.
Pakistan will play a seven-match T20I series against England at home from September 20 to prepare for the T20 World Cup. Afridi opined that Malik should have been a part of the series and a decision on his selection for the global T20 event should have been made based on his performances.
He emphasized that Malik is one of the most experienced players in Pakistan who has the ability to keep the scoreboard ticking in the middle overs. Afridi added:
“Pakistan could have added Shoaib Malik to the squad for the England series. They could have tried him out for three or four matches to assess his performance. We need a middle-order batter, and Malik has a lot of experience playing in that role.”
The first three T20Is between Pakistan and England will be played at the National Stadium in Karachi. The remaining three fixtures of the white-ball rubber will take place at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.