LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistan captain Babar Azam has ruled out the return of versatile veteran Shoaib Malik to the Twenty20 squad ahead of the World Cup in Australia, saying the team must give new talent more opportunities to develop.
Malik, who played the last of his 124 international Twenty20 tournaments against Bangladesh last November, impressed in Pakistan’s national T20 league and with the Asian Cup and World Cup on the horizon, local media have suggested that the 40-year-old’s experience could prove invaluable.
However, there was no room for the former captain, a useful all-rounder, in the squad for this month’s Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Babar said they were looking forward. future with the upcoming World Cup in October-November.
“There are matches right after the Netherlands so it’s unlikely there will be time for changes,” Babar told reporters on Thursday ahead of their Dutch tour next week.
“When senior players leave the team, those who replace them have to concentrate. (Mohammad) Hafeez and Malik were huge players and we will miss them very much, and players like Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah and Iftikhar (Ahmed) have to fill their boots.
“We want to give them lots of games and confidence, and these players have played.”
Pakistan will play three one-day internationals in Rotterdam before arriving in the United Arab Emirates where they kick off their Asian Cup campaign with a blockbuster on August 28 against arch-rivals India in Dubai.