LAHORE: The Pakistan cricket Board (PCB) has announced a 17-member Test squad for the upcoming tour of England in July.
Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq revealed the names of the players at a press conference here on Sunday.
Misbah-ul-Haq has been retained as captain of the Test team which includes three openers, seven middle-order batsmen, five bowlers and two wicket-keepers.
Mohammad Hafeez, Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar have been included in the team after they were declared fit while fast bowler Amir Khan’s inclusion will be based on the issuance of his visa. However, selector Inzamam-ul-aq Haq hopes that Amir would get the visa for the tour.
Inzamam said Mohammad Hafeez, Shan Masood, and Sami Aslam were chosen as the three opening batsmen for the tour, while Misbah-ul-Haque, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, and Iftikhar Ahmed will play in the middle-order.
Bother Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan were selected as wicket-keepers for the tour, while Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar will constitute the team’s spin attack.
Inzamam said the selection was completed after consultation with Captain Misbah-ul-Haque and coach Micky Arthur.
Opener Hafeez was selected subject to his full recovery from a knee injury sustained two months ago, with selectors deciding to include him after team medics said he would regain fitness in the next few days.
Regular opener Ahmed Shehzad was not selected over disciplinary problems, leaving the opening positions to the inexperienced left-handed pair of Shan Masood, who has played seven Tests, and Sami Aslam, who has played one.
Aslam, 20, however, starred against England during a Pakistan junior team tour in 2013, when he hit three centuries.
Pakistan’s batting will also be tested but the experienced Younis Khan – who toured England in 2001 and 2006 – will be their mainstay.
Besides Younis, Azhar Ali and Hafeez are the only two who have played previously played Tests in England before.
Pakistan will play four Test matches against England on the tour.
A team for the following five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 will be announced later.
The team are likely to leave for the tour on June 18 and hold a training camp in Hampshire before their first match against Somerset starting on July 5 and another against Sussex from July 8.
Complete squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez (subject to fitness), Shan Masood, Sami Aslam, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan, Imran Khan.