Pakistan batsman Sohaib Maqsood will miss the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup due to a back injury.
After an MRI scan on his lower back, Maqsood was replaced in the 15-member squad by veteran Shoaib Malik for the tournament which begins later this month.
Malik has not played a T20 international since competing against England last year. The selectors didn’t include him in the initial T20 World Cup squad last month and didn’t feature when Pakistan made three changes on Friday, bringing in Sarfaraz Ahmed, Haider Ali and Fakhar Zaman.
But Wasim said, “Shoaib’s experience will be handy for the entire squad.”
Malik is the world’s most capped T20 international player, having played in 116 games, three more than countryman Mohammad Hafeez.
Malik led Pakistan in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 and was a member of the Pakistan team which won the tournament in England in 2009. Although he missed out on the 2010 edition, he featured in 2012, 2014 and 2016 tournaments.
He had a below-par performance in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League in the West Indies with only 67 runs in 11 games for Guyana Amazon Warriors.
Pakistan will play two warm-up games against the West Indies and South Africa on Oct. 18 and 20, respectively, before taking on archrival India in its opening Group 2 game on Oct. 24 at Dubai.
New Zealand and Afghanistan are also in the group.
Although many fans lauded PCB’s decision, a media channel in Pakistan paid a hilarious tribute to Shoaib Malik.
“Nawaz Sharif gaye, Musharraf aaye, Zardari gaye, fir Nawaz Sharif aaye, daur badla, Khan aa gaye par na badla toh Shoaib Malik… 1999 mein 15 ₨ milne vala petrol 130 par aa gaya, Antenna vale phone ki jagah Android aa gaya, iphone aa gaya, dish ka daur gaya, Internet ne sab badalkar duniya ko global village bana diya, par na badla toh Shoaib Malik,” the video stated.
— Qadir Khawaja (@iamqadirkhawaja) October 9, 2021