Pakistan's Sarfaraz, Wahab make cut for England tests


Pakistan are scheduled to play three tests and three Twenty20 Internationals in August-September in a bio-secure environment in England amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have named the 20 players who will be considered for selection for their three-match Test series against England. The veteran bowler, who had taken an indefinite break from Test cricket last year, expressed his desire to return to playing red-ball cricket in June this year. The experienced pair of Wahab Riaz and wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed have returned to the Test set up, while middle-order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed has been left out. The team also includes Fawad Alam who last played a Test match in 2009.

Former captain Sarfaraz, who was sacked from Test and T20I captaincy the previous October, is the second choice wicketkeeper in the squad, behind the youthful Mohammad Rizwan, who also toured Australia a year ago and played Bangladesh at home this February.

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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 August 28. The first Test will be played in Manchester from August 5 while the 2nd and 3rd Test will be played in Southampton. The only player from the squad against Bangladesh to be dropped is 34-year old spinner Bilal Asif.

Test Squad: Azhar Ali (C), Babar Azam (vice-captain), 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 Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah.