Afridi doesn’t want Malik back: Sources
Karachi: Shoaib Malik may be in the list of probables for Asia Cup but sources say Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi is not keen to have him back as he fears the all-rounder would create disharmony in the side.
Malik is in the shortlist of 35 probables for the Asia Cup and the tour to England but Afridi is among those who don’t want Malik back.
“There are others as well including some selectors and board officials who feel that it would be better for the team if Malik is kept out for the moment,” one source disclosed.
He said Afridi did not push for Malik’s inclusion like he did for Muhammad Yousuf and Younus Khan.
“Afridi’s reaction is natural considering that he knows well that Malik can be a very negative influence on the team when things don’t go according to his liking,” the source said.
Malik emerged as the main villain during the probe by the Pakistan Cricket Board inquiry into the troubled Australian tour with former coach, Intikhab Alam, Afridi, Younus, Yousuf and others blaming him for spoiling the team atmosphere.
Former manager Abdul Raquib, Intikhab and Yousuf openly blamed him for creating disharmony in the team.
During the inquiry committee hearings, the team officials also confirmed that they wanted to send Malik back from New Zealand but the then skipper Yousuf let him stay as the team needed his experience.
Malik, who recently got married to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, was banned for 12-months and fined Rs two million by the inquiry committee but he has appealed against the punishment.
In his defence, Malik has said that he had no cause to create disharmony in the team as he was no longer interested in the captaincy and only wanted to play.