The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday named the squad for the upcoming three-match Test series against England, set to begin on December 1. Ace speedster Shaheen Shah Afridi has not been included as he was “unavailable for selection after he underwent appendicitis surgery on Sunday, which will require three-four weeks’ rest following which he will resume his two-week rehabilitation on his right knee.”
Mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed and fast bowler Mohammad Ali have been rewarded for their strong first-class performances with maiden Test call-ups as Pakistan announced an 18-player squad for December’s three ICC World Test Championship matches against England.
Uncapped Mohammad Wasim Jnr and Zahid Mehmood, who were part of the Test side for the three Tests against Australia earlier in the year, are the other two players to return to the side.
There are four changes in the squad from Pakistan’s last Test assignment, which was in Sri Lanka that resulted in the two-Test series ending 1-1. The four players who are not part of the side are Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Fawad Alam and Yasir Shah.
“Fawad managed 33 runs in four innings of three Tests against Australia earlier this year, while he scored 25 runs in his only Test in Sri Lanka. Hasan Ali took five wickets in his last four Tests against Australia and Sri Lanka, while Yasir Shah bagged nine wickets in Sri Lanka but has managed only 14 wickets in seven Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches to date,” stated an official media release.
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The three Tests are part of the ICC World Test Championship and are scheduled to be played in Rawalpindi (1-5 December), Multan (9-13 December) and Karachi (17-21 December).
Each of the nine teams play six series – three at home and three away – in 2021-23 cycle. The upcoming series is Pakistan’s fifth – their last series will be the two Tests against New Zealand in December 2022 and January 2023. These three Tests will be England’s final appearance in the second edition of the World Test Championship.
Pakistan squad for England Tests: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shan Masood and Zahid Mehmood
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