Shoaib Malik gets permission to meet wife Sania Mirza and son before travelling for England series
Pakistan Cricket Board has announced that batsman Shoaib Malik will join the squad for the England series late after accepting his request to spend time with his immediate family. It has been reported that Malik had not met his wife Sania Mirza and son for five months due to the Covid-19 lockdowns imposed around the world and requested the board to give him some time off before the series against England.
Pakistan will play a three-test series and same number of T20 internationals against England in August-September in a bio-secure environment in England following the COVID-19 pandemic. The 29-member Pakistan squad will travel to Manchester on June 28 and from there will leave for Derbyshire where they will undergo a 14-day quarantine. They will be allowed to train and practice as per the standard operating procedure for the series.
Malik has been stuck in Pakistan while his wife, tennis player Sania Mirza, and one-year-old son Izhaan, have been in India due to the ban on international travel due to the pandemic.
“Unlike the rest of us, Shoaib Malik has not seen his immediate family for nearly five months,” PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said in a statement.
“As travel restrictions are now slowly easing out and there is an opportunity for a family reunion, it is appropriate that at a human level we show compassion as part of our duty of care and respect Shoaib’s request.”
The PCB said they have spoken to their counterparts, England and Wales Cricket Board, who have agreed to make an exception for Malik to enter the country on July 24.
Former captain Malik, 38, retired from test cricket in 2015 and bowed out of the 50-over format last year after the World Cup in England. He has continued to play the shortest Twenty20 format for Pakistan.
(with agency inputs)