Cricket-Pakistan: Pakistan captain Babar Azam has ruled out the return of veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik to the T20 squad ahead of the World Cup in Australia, saying the team needs to give new talent more opportunities to develop.
Malik, who played the last of his 124 Twenty20 internationals against Bangladesh last November, was impressed in Pakistan’s domestic T20 league, and with the Asia Cup and World Cup on the horizon, local media suggested the 40-year-old experience can be invaluable.
However, there was no place for the former captain, a useful all-rounder, in the squad for this month’s Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Babar said he was looking to the future with the World Cup in October-November. are
“There are matches right after the Netherlands, so there is unlikely to be time for changes,” Babar told reporters on Thursday ahead of his Dutch tour next week.
“When senior players leave the team, their replacements need attention. (Muhammad) Hafeez and Malik were great players and we will miss them a lot, and Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah, and Iftikhar (Ahmed ) as athletes need to fill their boots.
We want to give them enough matches and confidence and these players have performed.
Pakistan will play three one-day internationals in Rotterdam before arriving in the UAE where they will begin their Asia Cup campaign with a blockbuster against arch-rivals India in Dubai on August 28.