Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi is against the inclusion of former skipper Shoaib Malik in the 15-man squad for the Asia Cup, which would be played in Sri Lanka from June 15 to 24.
According to sources, Afridi does not want Malik, who has been included in the list of 35 probables, in the team, as he fears that his presence would ruin the dressing room’s atmosphere.
“There are others as well including some selectors and board officials who feel that it would be better for the team if Malik is kept out for the moment,” The Daily Times quoted sources, as saying.
They also pointed out that prior to the announcement of the 35 probables for the Asia Cup, Afridi did not push for Malik’s inclusion like he did for former captains Younis Khan and Mohammed Yousuf.
“Afridi’s reaction is natural considering that he knows well that Malik can be a very negative influence on the team when things don’t go according to his liking,” sources added.
Malik was slapped with a year’s ban and a fine of two million rupees by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after an inquiry commission probing the team’s deplorable performance during the Australia tour held him responsible for breaking the player’s code of conduct and infighting in the team.
Afridi along with former coach Intikhab Alam,Younis, Yousuf and other players had also blamed the experienced all rounder for spoiling the team’s atmosphere.
Now, that the PCB has lifted the ban on Malik it remains to be seen whether Malik is included in the Sri Lanka bound squad or not. (ANI)