With Windies set for a three-match Test series, Pakistan, the next touring party, will start their UK sojourn early next month and a 29-player squad will stay together for three Tests and three T20Is. Azhar Ali will lead the Test side while Babar Azam will be at the helm of ODI and T20I side.
After Mohammed Amir and Haris Sohail pulled out of the England tour, Pakistan recalled fast bowler Sohail Khan and U-19 talent Haidar Ali to the squad to bolster the team’s strength. While the itinerary for the series is yet to be fixed, PCB have already received the provisional one, with them making the trip in early July.
While Haider Ali impressed in the latest edition of the U19 World Cup and then had some gala time with Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League, Sohail Khan had last played Test cricket in 2016 and had two five-wicket hauls on Pakistan's tour of England that same year. The Misbah-Ul-Haq-led selection panel has also announced the inclusion of Kashif Bhatti as the other uncapped player in the squad. Bhatti was a part of the squad against Australia and Sri Lanka but failed to make a cut to the playing XI.
Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Imran Khan, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez and Wahab Riaz have all been a part of the side while Bilal Asif, Imran Butt, Musa Khan and Mohammad Nawaz being among the four reserve players in the squad. The reserve players will only be slot in if any player fails the pre-tour Covid-19 test.
"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 was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
"But the main focus of the selectors has been red-ball cricket, which we will play for nearly two months with the T20Is to be played at the backend of the ICC World Test Championship fixtures. The series against England will be challenging as our players have not played any competitive cricket since March, while the home team will come following a series against the West Indies. This means we will have to hit the ground running as soon as we land in England and make the best use of the training sessions and match practice before we enter the first Test."
Squad: Abid Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (Test vice-captain and T20I captain), Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmad, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, 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