Pakistan captain Babar Azam has mentioned that the team want to give the opportunity to young talents like Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah, and Iftikhar Ahmed. Azam further ruled out the possibility of the return of senior players Shoaib Malik and Mohammed Hafeez for the T20 World Cup.
With the Asia Cup ahead of them and the T20 World Cup to be played later this year, Pakistan are building their squad for the tournament. The team seems to focus on giving youngsters an opportunity in the team. This was confirmed by the squad selection for the Asia Cup as the name of veteran batter Shoaib Malik was not in the team sheet. Malik has been impressive in Pakistan’s T20 league after playing his last T20I in November 2021. Many were of the belief that his experience could have been valuable for the team. However, Babar has ruled out the possibility of his return to the squad saying the team wants to back youngsters.
"There are matches immediately after the Netherlands, so it's unlikely there will be time for changes," Babar told reporters on Thursday ahead of their Dutch tour next week.
"When senior players leave the side, those replacing them need focus. (Mohammad) Hafeez and Malik were huge players and we'll miss them a lot, and players like Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah and Iftikhar (Ahmed) need to fill their boots. We want to give them plenty of matches and confidence, and these players have performed."
Hasan Ali was dropped from the Netherlands series and Asia Cup as well courtesy of his poor form. The bowler wasn’t very effective in recent months but the skipper has backed to make a return to the global arena.
“I know Hasan Ali is not in form, but it’s not like he has to prove anything,” he reckoned.