Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik will be the national team’s unofficial vice-captain during the World Cup, which begins next week.
According to cricketpakistan.com.pk, Malik will occupy the captaincy role should Sarfraz Ahmed not be able to take to the field.
Malik recently captained Pakistan during their tour of South Africa earlier this years as Sarfraz returned home after being given a four-month ban for racially abusing Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo.
Malik captained Pakistan during the fourth and fifth ODIs against South Africa, and in the three-match Twenty20 series that followed.
He also led the team in the first three ODIs of the five-match series against Australia in the United Arab Emirates.
The 37-year-old missed the last two matches with bruised ribs.
It is understood that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials looked through likely candidates for the vice-captaincy during the World Cup.
However, since they were unable to agree on one name, it was decided that Malik would continue holding the position.
Sources indicate that the PCB are eager to groom a young player to fill the vice-captaincy role, but the board opted to go with Malik’s experience due to the importance of the World Cup.
Malik has confirmed that he will retire from ODI cricket after the World Cup, where Pakistan kick off their campaign against the West Indies in Nottingham on May 31.