Pakistan’s Sohaib Maqsood was on Saturday ruled out of the upcoming T20 World Cup owing to a lower back injury and replaced by veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik. Maqsood was ruled out of the tournament after failing an MRI scan on his lower back. (More Cricket News)
Maqsood, who was in the 15-member squad, sustained the injury during a match on October 6 while playing for Southern Punjab against Northern during the National T20 Cup at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
The MRI scan of the area revealed that he will require time to complete his rehabilitation program. “Sohaib is devastated to miss out on the ICC Men's T20 World Cup as he had worked hard for this event and was in sparkling form,” chief selector Muhammad Wasim said in a Pakistan Cricket Board release.
“We feel for him but injuries are part and parcel of the sport. I am sure after undergoing rehabilitation, he'll fully recover to be available for future assignments. In his place and following discussions with the team management, we have decided to include Shoaib Malik in the side. I am sure Shoaib’s experience will be handy for the entire squad.”
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Malik was the skipper of the side in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 and was a member of the squad that lifted the trophy in 2009. He also played in 2012, 2014 and 2016 editions. But he has not played for Pakistan since the England tour last year, prompting the selectors to initially opt for a younger player.
This is not the first time that Maqsood has faced fitness issues prior to a series or tour. The Multan batsman had struggled in the National event while leading the Southern Punjab side and it was only after he stepped down as captain and decided to open the innings that he hit two successive half-centuries, but overall, his form was inconsistent in the tournament.
Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (C), Shadab Khan (VC), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohaib Malik.
Traveling reserves - Khushdil Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir.