Sohaib ruled out, Malik named replacement

Our Correspondent
Sunday, Oct 10, 2021

LAHORE: Veteran all rounder and former captain Shoaib Malik has been called in the national team for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 after Sohaib Maqsood was ruled out due to a lower back injury.

Sohaib underwent MRI scans for the lower back on Thursday after picking up the injury during a National T20 Cup match on October 6.

Chief selector Muhammad Wasim said: “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.

“In his place and following discussions with the team management, we have decided to include Shoaib Malik in the side. I am sure Shoaib’s experience will be handy for the entire squad.”

Malik 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 2012, 2014 and 2016 tournaments.

The Pakistan squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will depart for Dubai on October 15. They will play two warm-up matches against the West Indies and South Africa on October 18 and 20, respectively, before taking on India in a Group-2 fixture on 24 October at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

The 39-year-old has been in prolific form in the ongoing National Twenty20 tournament in Pakistan, having scored 225 in seven games and there were calls from the fans for his inclusion.

Having retired from Test cricket in 2015 and ODIs two years ago, Malik had announced he will end his career after the Twenty20 World Cup, if selected.

On Friday, Pakistan made three changes to their 15-man World Cup squad announced last month but had included Maqsood in the squad subject to proving his fitness.

Malik played the last of his 116 Twenty20 Internationals against England in September last year. With input from agencies