The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has named a 29-member squad for the historic tour of England, slated to take place in August-September. The tourists will play three Tests and three T20Is against the English cricket team. The 29-player squad named by PCB comprises of two uncapped players namely Haider Ali and Kashif Bhatti.
Haider Ali was one of Pakistan’s U-19 batsmen and one of the talents to watch out for, having scored 317 runs against South Africa in June. Haider Ali was also the fifth-highest run-getter in the ACC Emerging Teams Cup in Bangaladesh with 218 runs. The Quaid-E-Azam Trophy saw the batsman racking 645 runs at an average of 50, including a century in the final.
Alongside Haider Ali, Kashif Bhatti also makes it to the outfit. Kashif Bhatti found a berth in Pakistan’s Test squad against Australia and Sri Lanka but failed to get a game in either of the series. The other players who were picked are Fawad Alam, Faheem Ashraf, Imran Khan, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, and Wahab Riaz.
The reserve players picked by PCB, in case of emergencies include Musa Khan, Bilal Asif, Imran Butt, and Mohammad Nawaz. Mohammad Amir and Haris Sohail opted out of the tour while Hasan Ali was not available due to a back injury. Amir has made himself unavailable as he is expecting the birth of his second child while Sohail dropped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are confident we will get the players up to the mark to be ready for the three Tests : Misbah-Ul-Haq, Pakistan coach and chief selector
Pakistan coach and chief selector Misbah-Ul-Haq addressed all the selections by saying that it is in their understanding that the players have not been involved in competitive cricket since long. However, he assured that the players would undergo intense training and practice sessions and is confident of them being ready for the three Tests.
“The selectors have picked a squad which gives us the best chance of success in England. It was a challenging process as the players have not played for an extended period of time, but nevertheless, with the month that we will have in England and the intense training we will undergo, we are confident we will get the players up to the mark to be ready for the three Tests.” Misbah said as quoted by pcb.co.pk.
The squad as listed below:
Squad : Abid Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam (Test vice-captain and T20I captain), Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmad, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim, Kashif Bhatti, Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah.