Shoaib Malik

Veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik dropped a bombshell, accusing the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) of nepotism. The PCB selection committee had come into the spotlight after skipper Babar Azam’s squad selection suggestions for the Zimbabwe series were ignored.

Now, Shoaib Malik has claimed that selections are made in the team on the basis ‘who knows people in the system’. This is not the first when a current or former cricketer has slammed the PCB for its way of operating.

Cases of corruption, bias and a number of other issues in the board have often surfaced. The board has also had a number of changes in the support staff over the last few years, yet have not been able to challenge the top teams.

The 39-year-old feels there’s a need for change in Pakistan cricket but it would only come when players are selected on the basis of merit and not on the basis of their connections in the management.

“We have a system of liking and disliking in our cricket, which is something that is present in the rest of the world as well, but seems to be a bit more in our culture. The day things change in our cricket system where more importance is given to skills rather than who a person knows, only then will things improve,” he told Pakistani journalist Saj Sadiq.

Babar Azam, who is leading Pakistan across all three formats, also had a fallout with the selectors after a few of his preferred players weren’t picked for the recently-concluded Zimbabwe series.

“In the recent squad there were many players who Babar wanted to pick, but they weren’t selected. Everyone has their opinions but the final decision on selection should be that of the captain because it’s he who will fight it out on the ground he with his team” Malik added.

The veteran all-rounder also spoke about the selection of players on the basis of their performance in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). He feels that players should be given national call-ups based on their performance throughout the tournament.

Malik, who last featured for Pakistan in a T20I against England in 2020, might’ve put his own career at risk. However, he said that he doesn’t have any regrets about highlighting such grave flaws in Pakistan cricket.

“Whatever is in my fate is in the hands of the Almighty and not in any person’s control. I will have no regrets if I am not asked to play again, but I would have felt more regret if I had not spoken up on behalf of my fellow cricketers,” Malik concluded.

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