Shoaib Malik, the former Pakistan captain who was left out of the World Cup squad, has been named captain of Punjab's team for the upcoming Pentangular first-class tournament in Pakistan. Federal Areas, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are the other four teams that will participate in a tournament that pits the top 75 players of the country against one another as provincial, rather than city-based or departmental sides.
Malik was in prime form through the domestic season, scoring 799 runs at an average of 88.77 for Pakistan International Airlines in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. He has been appointed captain ahead of Kamran Sajid, under whom he played in the PIA side. Sajid is also in the Punjab squad.
Punjab have surprisingly left out Lahore Shalimar batsman Usman Salahuddin, the leading run-getter in Division Two of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy during the 2010-11 season, as well as his team-mate, offspinner Saad Nasim, who was the leading wicket-taker in the recently concluded One Day National Cup Division Two. The two have been named in Punjab's reserves.
Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf, and Imran Farhat, who hit a century for Habib Bank Limited in their Faysal Bank One Day National Cup Division One match on Friday, are also in a strong Punjab side.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have named Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited legspinner Yasir Shah as their captain, while Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited seamer Iftikhar Anjum will captain Federal Areas.
Balochistan and Sindh are yet to name their captains.