Sarfaraz, Sohail return, Haider Ali earns maiden call-up for England tour


Lahore: Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and pacer Sohail Khan have made a comeback while emerging batsman Haider Ali has received his maiden call-up as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the 29-player squad for three Tests and three T20Is against England.

A collective squad has been announced as the players, in accordance with series SOPs in the wake of Covid-19, will remain in England from start to finish.

The wicket-keeper batsman Sarfaraz was dropped from the side last year in October and was also sacked from the captaincy role. The 36-year-old Sohail Khan last played a Test against Australia in Melbourne in 2016.

The 19-year-old Haider Ali was one of the rising talents, scoring 239 runs in nine matches at a strike-rate of over 158 for Peshawar Zalmi in the unfinished Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020.

Read also: Amir, Haris pulled out of ‘bio-secure’ England tour

Sindh’s Kashif Bhatti is the other uncapped player in the side. Kashif was in the Test squad against Australia and Sri Lanka but did not play and was also named in the probables for the Rawalpindi Test against Bangladesh.

Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Imran Khan, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, and Wahab Riaz are also in the 29-players squad, who are not part of the PCB’s central contract.

The selectors have also named four reserves in Bilal Asif, Imran Butt, Musa Khan and Mohammad Nawaz as a cover in case any of the players fail pre-tour Covid-19 testing, which will be carried out on 20 and 25 June.

It must be noted that veteran pacer Mohammad Amir and middle-order batsman Haris Sohail pulled out of the tour due to personal reasons.

Openers: Abid Ali. Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq and Shan Masood 

Middle-order batsmen:  Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmad, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, and Shoaib Malik 

Wicketkeepers: Mohammad Rizwan and Sarfaraz Ahmed 

Fast bowlers: Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari and Wahab Riaz

Spinners: Imad Wasim, Kashif Bhatti, Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah.

Read also: PCB awaits response from ECB on men’s team early departure to England