PCB planning to fly-out Shoaib Malik on August 15 for England T20Is
Malik wanted to spend time with his wife Sania Mirza and son Izhaan in the UAE.
Updated - Aug 8, 2020 3:51 pm
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is contemplating flying out Shoaib Malik on August 15 to join the national team for the three-match T20I series against England. However, the 38-year-old will need to clear two COVID-19 tests before he gets a green signal. Malik has already retired from Test and ODI cricket and at the fag end of his career, he only plies his trade in T20I cricket.
The veteran last played in the T20I series against Bangladesh earlier this year at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Thereafter, he played some useful hands for the Peshawar Zalmi in the 2020 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which halted before the semis due to the coronavirus outbreak.
As far as the T20Is are concerned, they are set to be played from Friday, August 28 to Tuesday, September 1 at the Old Trafford in Manchester. The venue is currently hosting Pakistan’s opening Test versus the Brits.
PCB careful with Shoaib Malik
“The PCB is planning to fly-out T20 specialist Shoaib Malik to Southampton on 15 August, provided he returns two negative Covid-19 tests as per the agreed protocols and processes,” the PCB was quoted as saying in a statement, reported by India Today.
The PCB had allowed Malik joining the squad late since he wanted to spend time with his family in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The former Pakistan captain is married to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and has a one-year-old son Izhaan. Due to the massive COVID-19 pandemic, Malik hasn’t been able to meet his family since the beginning of the year.
Malik last played for competitive cricket for the Zalmi in their match against the Multan Sultans at the National Stadium in Karachi. There he got scores of 68, 54 and 62, showing that he still hasn’t run out of gas by any stretch of the imagination.
England won’t be an easy opposition and Malik will need to be on top of his game if Pakistan have to roll over the hosts. In his T20I career, the all-rounder has played 113 matches, scoring 2,321 runs at an average of 31.36 with eight half-centuries to show for his efforts.