Shoaib Malik was dropped after the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 in England © Getty Images
Shoaib Malik was dropped after the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 in England © Getty Images

Karachi: Sep 15, 2014

Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik is likely to be given another chance at reviving his international career when the national selectors name the squad for the upcoming series against Australia and the list of probables for the ICC World Cup 2015.

A well-informed source close to the national selection committee told PTI that Malik, who has been out-of-favour for a year now, is being considered for the One-Day International (ODI) and T20 teams after the suspension of Saeed Ajmal.

“The selectors also feel there is a need for another genuine senior all-rounder in the limited over squads with the World Cup approaching,” the source said.

The selection committee headed by Moin Khan assembled in Lahore today to discuss the squad for the three formats against Australia as well as the World Cup list of probables. “The selectors will have a final meeting on Tuesday after discussing with head coach Waqar Younis and captain Misbah-ul-Haq, after which they will submit their recommended names to the board Chairman for final approval and announcement,” the source informed.

Malik was dropped after the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 in England but got a chance in T20 matches against South Africa and was also in the World T20 squad in which he failed to impress.

But after a successful season with the Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League and with Ajmal now out of the reckoning, the selectors are set to give Malik another chance. The former Pakistan captain, who has played 32 Tests, 216 ODIs and 59 Twenty20 Internationals last appeared in a One-dayer against India in June, 2013.

The source said the selectors were also likely to give Sarfaraz Ahmed a place in the ODI squad instead of Umar Akmal in the upcoming series. “Sarfaraz will now be the wicketkeeper in the ODI matches against Australia, while Umar will be restricted to doing keeping duties in T20 matches,” he said.

Although the selectors are expected to opt from the contracted list of players but they could make a few exceptions as well. “Malik and fast bowler Mohammad Sami are two strong contenders to be given chances although they are not on the centrally contracted players list. Leg spinner Yasir Shah may also make a comeback as the selectors are searching for a replacement spinner for Ajmal for the Australia series as well as the World Cup,” he added.

Yasir, 28, played just two T20 matches and one ODI against Zimbabwe in 2011. The Pakistan Cricket Board will also announce the new national T20 captain tomorrow with Shahid Afridi being a strong contender for the job. Afridi, who had missed the earlier fitness tests, specially flew to Lahore during the weekend to complete the tests, which are a prerequisite for contracted players now.