Shoaib Malik returns to Pakistan Test squad

Karachi: Veteran Pakistan all-rounder and former captain Shoaib Malik made a comeback to the national Test squad today after a gap of five years.

The Pakistan Cricket Board announced that Malik had been inducted into the Test squad for the series against England as the 16th player. He was not named in the squad of 15 announced last month and he last played a Test in England in August 2010.

The PCB said Malik had been included on the request of the team management since he was in good form and a very experienced performer.

Malik, who has led Pakistan in Test matches, became a strong candidate for a Test comeback because of the worries the selectors have over the form of Ahmed Shehzad and Muhammad Hafeez.

"Everyone agreed that Malik was required as the 16th player as he was an experienced batsman in the middle order who can also bowl off-spin as the fifth bowler in the Tests," chief selector Haroon Rasheed told PTI.

"We all felt that with Hafeez unable to bowl a fifth bowling option was required," he said. Malik, since being recalled to the T20 and ODI squads, last year has been scoring runs prolifically in the middle-order and made an unbeaten 96 in the second ODI at Harare.

He has credited his success to the sporting success of his wife Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, who won the Wimbledon women's doubles title this year as well.

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