The middle-order lineup for Pakistan has been one of their main areas of worry leading up to the 2022 T20 World Cup. The issue was brought to light during their run to the Asia Cup final and was a significant concern during their 3-4 home series defeat to England. Many seasoned cricketers believed that Shoaib Malik or maybe Mohammad Hafeez should have been added to Pakistan’s middle order to bolster their batting; however, neither player was taken into consideration for the T20 World Cup. Ramiz Raja, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, has now spoken out in response to the criticism the selectors have received for choosing a lineup with a weaker middle order.

Malik took part in Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad the previous year and contributed with a few significant hits during the team’s undefeated journey to the semifinals. He participated in the Bangladesh series that came after in November, but since then, he has never been taken into consideration.

Many argued that Malik should have been added back to the lineup since the middle order was beginning to show indications of weakness, but the seasoned player was overlooked once again.

Ramiz, in an interview with Geo News, explained that Pakistan tried an experiment last year by adding experience to the middle order, and he has no problem doing the same thing again. However, he acknowledged that they have fewer options this time around, which has been the main motivation behind PCB’s intensive focus on junior-level cricket to expand their talent pool.

“Mujhe koi issue nehin hain, Humlogo ne pichle T20 me kiya thi. Ek consistency chaiye selection main, mere jo philosophy hain na cricket ki aur achhi team ki woh yeh hain. Aapko captain ko strong chaiye, Dusra. There are few possibilities since Lionel Messi isn’t on the bench, and there aren’t many other players that fit that description. Additionally, junior level ke upar bohot kaam kar rahein hain isiliye choice ko barane kiliye and talent pool ko increase karne kiliye. Despite the fact that it may be hit or miss, my philosophy is what makes a good captain. Kin players ko khilana chaiye unko aap choices de,” he remarked.

Pakistan is in Christchurch for a tri-series against New Zealand and Bangladesh; after the match, they will leave for Australia.