Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed returned as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced 29-players squad for England tour.
Sarfaraz will be making a comeback after almost a year if he gets chance against England in three Tests and as many T20Is. Apart from Sarfaraz, right-arm pacer Sohail Khan has also returned to the Pakistan squad after four years.
Young Haider Ali has made maiden entrance to the squad whereas uncapped Kashif Bhatti will also travel with the team to the UK. Fawad Alam, Faheem Ashraf, and Imran Khan Sr are also included in the team.
According to Head Coach-cum-Chief Selector Misbah-ul-Haq, the players had been selected with an eye on the future.
“The players have been selected with one eye on the future. I want these players to acquire as much cricket knowledge as possible from the additional backroom staff of Mushtaq Ahmed and Younis Khan that can help them post the England tour,” he said.
Misbah is confident about a successful England tour and hoping that the players will adjust themselves in English conditions after reaching there a month before.
“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,” he maintained.
It must be noted here that the Pakistan team will fly for the UK early in July. The players will stay in quarantine for 14 days, as per the directives of the UK government, before going out for training. The schedule of the tour will be out soon.
Openers – Abid Ali (Sindh), Fakhar Zaman (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Imam-ul-Haq (Balochistan) and Shan Masood (Southern Punjab)
Middle-order batsmen – Azhar Ali (captain) (Central Punjab), Babar Azam (Test vice-captain and T20I captain) (Central Punjab), Asad Shafiq (Sindh), Fawad Alam (Sindh), Haider Ali (Northern), Iftikhar Ahmad (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Khushdil Shah (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Hafeez (Southern Punjab), and Shoaib Malik (Southern Punjab)
Wicketkeepers – Mohammad Rizwan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh)
Fast bowlers – Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab), Haris Rauf (Northern), Imran Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Abbas (Southern Punjab), Mohammad Hasnain (Sindh), Naseem Shah (Central Punjab), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Northern), Sohail Khan (Sindh), Usman Shinwari (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Wahab Riaz (Southern Punjab)
Spinners – Imad Wasim (Northern), Kashif Bhatti (Sindh), Shadab Khan (Northern) and Yasir Shah (Balochistan).