It was ecstasy on Thursday after scripting one of the best performances in every World Cup victory for Zimbabwe and an absolute stunner for Pakistan, who were beaten in Perth, to keep the tournament in the balance. Apart from winning their remaining games to qualify for the semi-finals, Pakistan were surprised to see their fate depend on other factors. The twin defeats in the T20 World Cup left legendary pacer Wasim Akram fuming as captain Babar Azam as he once again raised the question of Shoaib Malik’s absence.
The veteran batsman was expected to return to the T20 World Cup squad for the campaign in Australia but was snubbed by the selectors, a decision many questioned amid Pakistan’s middle-order struggles. But on Thursday, the same problem came when Pakistan suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe.
READ: ‘Time to get rid of PCB chief Joe Huda bana Hua Hai’: Amir blasts Raja in explosive tweet after Zimbabwe shock Pakistan
In an interview with A Sports, where Malik was also a member of the panel, Akram said that if he had been the captain, he would have been the first to secure a place in the World Cup squad and dispute his absence. He then scolded Babar for not being smart enough with his choice and invitation.
“Ek saal se Pakistan, including us (Malik, Waqar Younis and Misbah ul Haq) knew this was a little weak in the middle order. Ab ye ladka bayta hai Shoaib Malik. Main agar captain hota, mera ultimate goal kya hota… to win the world cup. Agar usskeliye mujhe gadhe ko bhi baap banana pare for main banana because for World Cup celebration. Agar mujhe Shoaib Malik chaiye toh chief chairman and selector ko jaake kahunga ki if I don’t get my player I won’t play the world cup. But Aisa Koi Hain Nehin. Babar ko aur akalmand hona parega. Yeh woh moholle ki commanda nehin hai ki mera jaanne wala aa jayega. Agar main hota toh iss ladke ko (Malik) sabse pehle middle rank main leta,” he said.
Pakistan will play their next match against the Netherlands on October 30 at the Perth Stadium