Hafeez, Malik to skip home T20 series against West Indies

According to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) source, veteran Pakistan batsmen Muhammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik will not play in next month’s T20 home series against the West Indies. Due to personal obligations, Hafeez and Malik have told Pakistan captain Babar Azam and head coach Saqlain Mushtaq that they will not be available for the series. Both players also skipped the recent T20 series in Bangladesh following the World Cup, which Pakistan easily won 3-0.

“Malik has stated that he wants to concentrate on playing in T20 competitions, and Pakistani selectors should only consider him for key series,” a trustworthy PCB source said.

Hafeez, on the other hand, has stated that he will miss the West Indies series due to his commitments with the Lankan Premier League, and that the selectors should give some young players an opportunity. Hafeez also boycotted the Bangladesh series.

“Instead of waiting for Hafeez and Malik, it has been decided to start giving greater exposure to players like Haider Ali, Sohaib Maqsood, Khushdil Shah, Iftikhar Ahmed, Danish Aziz, and Azam Khan to prepare them for the future,” the source stated.

Also in other news, Shakib Al Hasan has been ruled out of the first test match against Pakistan after failing to recuperate from a hamstring injury sustained during the T20 World Cup 2021. Bangladesh’s star all-rounder is also uncertain to play in the second test against Pakistan due to an injury that is not improving. Shakib Al Hasan had missed the last two games of the T20 World Cup due to injury, and the Bangladesh all-rounder also missed the three-match T20I series against Babar Azam’s team at home, which the hosts defeated 3-0.

Bangladesh is hoping to win the series against Pakistan to kick off their World Test Championship campaign in 2021-23. However, Shakib’s injury will be a major setback for the hosts as they prepare for the red-ball series against Pakistan. Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s chief selector, Minhajul Abedin, has indicated that the 34-year-old has not fully healed from his injury and would require additional therapy.

“Shakib’s hamstring strain isn’t getting any better. Shakib has to be rehabilitated further. He is continuously being looked after by our physiotherapist. We knew he wouldn’t be able to participate in the first Test. We also don’t know if he’ll be available for the second Test. The physio will inform us as soon as possible. Since we selected the 16-man team knowing Shakib’s illness, we haven’t called up a replacement, “Abedin explained.