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Ignored by Sialkot, Malik to be Lions’ guest player

Ignored by Sialkot, Malik to be Lions’ guest player

LAHORE: In an unusual developmenta key player of Sialkot Region, former national skipper Shoaib Malik, has been ignored by his native region for the upcoming Super Eight National Twenty20, as the cricketer was forced to play for Lahore Lions.

Finding a window between Pakistan’s ongoing tour of Bangladesh and the upcoming ODI home series against Zimbabwe, the PCB has decided in principle to hold the event in Faisalabad from May 11 to 18.

Dawn learnt that the Lahore City Cricket Association had included Malik in the Lahore Lions squad as their guest player.

The 33-year-old Malik, it may be mentioned here, led Sialkot Region to several national T20 titles in the past. He holds the record of having led Sialkot Region to 28 consecutive wins in national-level T20 events.

However, now with change of command in Sialkot Region, going from Sialkot city to Gujranwala, Malik has been ignored by his own region. Unfortunately, this type of politics has had its part in ruining Pakistan cricket.

Given his impressive record in national T20 format, one feels Malik definitely deserved a place in Sialkot Region squad.

The veteran all-rounder may now find it hard to get his place in the Lahore Lions playing XI. The Lions squad comprises several prominent Pakistan players like Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali, Saad Nasim, Wahab Riaz, Aizaz Cheema and Nasir Jamshed.

Moreover, the PCB is also facing scheduling problems in holding the May 11-18 national T20 event. Most of the cricketers in Pakistan are not available for this event, having left for England to honour their county contracts there.

After receiving their availability from maximum possible number of players, the PCB is likely to announce officially the dates for the T20 event.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2015

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