Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has said that Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed’s careers aren’t over just because they were dropped for the upcoming limited overs series against Zimbabwe.
Malik represented Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the recently-concluded National T20 Cup and scored 239 runs in 12 matches, which included two fifties, at an average of 39.83 and a strike-rate of 146.62.
He was named Man of the Match in the final of the tournament after helping Khyber Pakhtunkhwa win.
Malik walloped an unbeaten 56, which came off 22 balls and included three boundaries and four sixes, as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa beat Southern Punjab by 10 runs.
As for Sarfaraz, he captained Sindh in the tournament and accumulated 171 runs in 11 matches, which included a top score of 52 not out, at an average of 21.37 and a strike-rate of 131.53.
Misbah noted that the decision to axe Malik in particular was to give youngsters like Haider Ali and Khushdil Shah a chance to shine.
“Seniors like Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed have not been picked for this series, but I want to categorically state that their careers are not over by any means as performance remains the only criterion for selection,” Misbah was quoted as saying by the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) website.
“These are strategic decisions as Shoaib’s absence will provide players like Abdullah Shafiq, Haider Ali and Khushdil Shah better chances of featuring in the upcoming matches.”
Pakistan’s series against Zimbabwe will consist of three ODIs and three T20 Internationals.
The ODIs will be held in Rawalpindi from October 30 to November 3, while the T20 Internationals have been moved from Multan to Lahore and will take place from November 7 to 10.
Pakistan’s 22 probables for the Zimbabwe series: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, Musa Khan, Rohail Nazir, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Qadir, Wahab Riaz and Zafar Gohar