In a rather surprising decision, the Pakistan cricket Board on Tuesday announced the inclusion of former captain Shoaib Malik in the national squad for the one-day and Twenty20 series against England.
Just hours after the national selection committee had ignored Malik while announcing separate squads for the four ODIs and three T20 matches against England, the board did a U-turn insisting that captain Misbah-ul-Haq had requested for the inclusion of the allrounder.
"On the request of Pakistan team captain, Misbah-ul-Haq the national selection committee has agreed to send Shoaib Malik to join the Pakistan squad for the ODI and T20 matches against England in the UAE," the PCB statement said.
It, however, didn't explain as to why the selectors had not accepted Misbah's request for Malik earlier in the day.
"The whole incident smells of politics and nothing else. The board, the selectors and Misbah himself are making a mockery of themselves," a former test selector said.
He said it was strange how in only a few hours the selectors had a change of heart in sending Malik.
Mohammad Illyas was unavailable for comments as he was attending to the last rites of his brother who expired today.
Malik was dropped from the Pakistan squad for the Test series against England after poor form in the one-day series against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Last year also the board had sent Malik at the last moment to join the national squad in Zimbabwe just one day after he was cleared by the board's integrity committee.
With the selectors having announced 16 players for the ODI series and 15 for the T20 matches, it is most likely that one player will be sent back from the UAE.