Pakistan cricket player Fawad Alam talks to the media. File photo
Middle order batsman Fawad Alam could make a Test comeback after nearly 11 years as the left-hander was named in Pakistan’s 20-member squad for three-match series against England.
The 34-year-old Alam played his last Test match against New Zealand in November of 2009 and is a strong candidate for the first test. It starts at Old Trafford on Aug. 5. Selectors left out Iftikhar Ahmed.
Pakistan had named an extended squad of 29 players for the tour of England, but Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain and Musa Khan, all will come into contention for the Twenty20 series against England, starting on Aug. 28.
The 20-man test squad also include former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and left-arm fast bowler Wahab Riaz, who had opted out of test cricket indefinitely last year, but expressed his willingness to return to red ball cricket.
Sarfaraz has been picked as the second choice wicketkeeper after Mohammad Rizwan, who played against Australia last year and also during the home series against Bangladesh.
Fast bowler Sohail Khan also found a place in the probables after the right-arm fast bowler impressed during the two intra-squad matches of the Pakistan team.
Pakistan Test squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam, Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Sr, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah.
The uncapped fast bowler was due to play for Sussex in their Bob Willis Trophy match against Kent at Canterbury but has been withdrawn from that fixture.
Mohammad Hafeez was the top scorer with a 62-ball 84 as Babar Azam (63 off 66) and captain Sarfraz Ahmed (55 of 44) also scored half centuries. England will need to pull off the highest successful run chase in World Cup history if they are to win this game.
Both Root and Jos Buttler scored hundreds but Pakistan still managed to end a run of 11 straight losses in completed one-day internationals -- including a 4-0 series defeat by England -- with a well-deserved win.
The series held major significance for a host nation deprived of all forms of international cricket for almost a decade. Pakistan had been forced to play its home series outside the country, mostly in the United Arab Emirates, since 2009.
The announcement comes in line with the objectives of Dubai Vision 2021, which aims to strengthen Dubai's position as a preferred place to live and work.
This series is being played under special protocols because of the global coronavirus outbreak, with the PCB statement adding the decision to isolate Hafeez had been taken "for his and, the safety and security of everyone around him."
The UAE is set to add another feather to its cap by hosting the cricket’s biggest extravaganza – Indian Premier League (IPL) – at the time of the pandemic after the clearance by the Indian government.