Malik, Hafeez surprised after being ignored for Australia tour

Misbah wanted both veteran all-rounders in the T20I squad

Malik, Hafeez surprised after being ignored for Australia tour PHOTO: AFP

Veteran all-rounders Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez were surprised after being ignored for the upcoming three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series against Australia down under.

According to sources, head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq  and new T20I captain Babar Azam wanted to select both all-rounders for the tough tour, but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) were in favour of giving opportunity to youngsters in the shortest format.

Sources further added that Misbah holds the authority to demand the players he wants from the PCB. However, the chief selector refrained from pushing for Hafeez and Malik’s inclusion for the Australia tour.

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Misbah received a lot of criticism during the Sri Lanka series for including opener Ahmed Shehzad and hard-hitting batsman Umar Akmal, after they failed to deliver in their comeback.

On being contacted, the PCB media director Sami Burney clarified that no instructions has been passed on by the board to the selectors regarding ignoring Hafeez and Malik. Burney said that Misbah had clearly stated the reasons for the all-rounders exclusion from the T20I squad.

Pakistan will play three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) in Australia, with the first match due to be played in Sydney on November 3.