Pakistan captain Babar Azam has ruled out a return for veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik to the Twenty20 squad ahead of the World Cup in Australia, saying the team needed to give fresh talent more opportunities to develop.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) November 7, 2021
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 they were looking to the future with the World Cup coming up in October-November.
“There are matches immediately after 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 side, those replacing them need focus. (Mohammad) Hafeez and Malik were huge players and we’ll miss them a lot, and players like Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah and Iftikhar (Ahmed) need to fill their boots.”
“We want to give them plenty of matches and confidence, and these players have performed.”
Pakistan will play three one-day internationals in Rotterdam before arriving in the UAE where they begin their Asia Cup campaign with an Aug. 28 blockbuster against arch-rivals India in Dubai.