Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik’s performances in the upcoming series in the UAE against Sri Lanka will be closely watched by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after an below-par show in Zimbabwe.
It has been learnt that Malik was drafted into the side, after the integrity committee cleared him of his suspected links with bookies, because of his experience, The Express Tribune reports.
He played three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20s, but failed to make significant contribution with bat or ball.
However, Malik was preferred over Umar Akmal for the Test series against Sri Lanka, but his show in Zimbabwe has forced the PCB to delay issuing him a central contract.
“Malik is in the squad because the selection committee wants to give him a proper chance,” a top PCB official was quoted as saying.
“His performance in Zimbabwe was below par and he has a lot to prove. People say that he may return as captain soon, but everything depends on his performance, given that he’s not an automatic choice in the playing-eleven,” the official added.
The official pointed out towards the stiff competition in the side, and emphasised that the former captain would have to perform quickly in order to keep his place in the team.
Malik is also missing the first round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, where all top players were told to be in action, the report said.
However, the PCB official said that it was not an issue since Malik had sought the PCB’s permission to skip the match in order to accompany his wife and Sania Mirza, who is due for a knee surgery.