Babar Azam, the T20I captain of Pakistan, has disclosed that he didn’t get the team he wanted for the upcoming tour of Australia.
It has been reported that Babar had conveyed to the selectors as well as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that he wanted Mohammed Hafeez and Shoaib Malik to be included in the squad.
While, the chairman of selectors, Misbah-ul-Haq, was also agreeable on that, the other members of the selection panel and people in the PCB hierarchy didn’t want to take a backward step.
They rather wanted to try and test the young players than going back to the veterans. So, the idea was eventually shot down.
But Babar, while addressing the press before taking the flight to Australia, didn’t try to hide the fact that he wanted the senior players.
“I had given my input for selection of the squad. I felt I required some seniors.” Babar told the reporters.
Hafeez and Malik have been playing league cricket since the conclusion of the World Cup. Hafeez’s numbers in the leagues have been pretty modest, but Malik has looked in fine touch.
Both Hafeez and Malik have played in the Global T20 Canada and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in the last few months.
While Hafeez scored just 85 runs in 5 matches in the Global T20 Canada at a strike rate of 121.42, Malik scored 213 runs in 6 games at a strike rate of 161.36.
Malik was in the list of top 10 run getters in the CPL as well, as he scored 317 runs in 12 games at a strike rate 124.31. Hafeez, on the other hand, could score only 160 runs in 9 games at a strike rate of less than 100.
Misbah-ul-Haq, after losing 3-nil in the T20I series against Sri Lanka, had said that Hafeez and Malik still play the spinners better than any young Pakistan batsman.
After that statement of Misbah, it was believed that the future of Hafeez and Malik in international cricket was not over and they might get another go, but PCB doesn’t seem to be in favour of that.