Malik likely to return to Pakistan team

PCB is satisfied with Shoaib Malik’s reply on 90,000 pounds found in his bank account Getty Images

Lahore: Aug 6, 2011

Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik is all set to make a comeback into the national team for the upcoming Zimbabwe tour once he is cleared by the Cricket Board’s (PCB) integrity committee on August 15.

According to sources, PCB’s integrity committee is satisfied with Malik’s reply on the 90,000 pounds lying in one of his bank accounts.

“Things are finally looking up for him (Malik). There are indications that the board is satisfied with the reply he has sent to them regarding the mystery surrounding the amount in one of his bank accounts,” a close aide said.

“The indications are that the integrity committee of the board, that has called him on August 15 for a hearing, will clear him and he will be available for the Zimbabwe tour,” the aide added.

Anticipating that the former captain would be cleared by the integrity committee, the national selectors have already named Malik among the reserves for the Zimbabwe tour, which begins in last week of this month.

Malik, who has not played international cricket since last August, will play for PIA in the Moin Khan Ramazan night tournament that begins today in Karachi but will join the star-studded National Bank side after the event.

Iqbal Qasim, who heads the NBP sports division, confirmed that Malik had joined the bank in a senior position.

Insiders also say that Malik stands a very strong chance of regaining the national team captaincy by next year as PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and national selectors believe he is an automatic choice for ODI and T20 cricket.

“He has been out of the team only because of the issue with the integrity committee, not because of any cricketing reasons,” one source said.

“He appears to be a good choice to replace Misbah-ul-Haq when the right time comes,” the source added.