PCB chief Ashraf defends Malik’s last minute inclusion in Pak squad

Karachi: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf has defended the last minute inclusion of all rounder Shoaib Malik in the recently-concluded ODI and Twenty20 series against England in UAE, saying that it wasn’t made under any pressure.

“I would like to get the facts right. There was no players power involved,” The Daily Times quoted Ashraf, as saying.

Ashraf said initially the squad was selected without Malik, but captain Misbah-ul-Haq had informed him that Malik was required in the team.

“The selection committee initially picked the squad for the one-day series without Malik. But Misbah called me up and told me that he felt Malik should be in the team,” he explained.

“Misbah contended that since he was in the UAE and he knew better than the selectors that Malik could prove to be very useful for the one-day series because of his ability to bowl and also because the pitches were helping spinners,” he added.

He said the selectors accepted Misbah’s request after pondering over it. Ashraf said: “My point of view was that if the captain wanted a player, let him have him. My feeling was that if we didn`t accept Misbah`s request and if the team lost then all the blame would come on us.’ Ashraf also said he didn’t want any senior player to feel that he wasn’t given a fair opportunity to prove himself.

“I want to ensure no senior player feels he is being wronged and at the end of the day, if Malik doesn`t perform, then everything is clear,” he said.

Bureau Report