LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced its Test squad comprising 16 players and five reserves for the upcoming home series against Australia.
“Pakistan cricket selectors today announced 16 players and five reserves for the three Tests against Australia, which will be played in Rawalpindi (4-8 March), Karachi (12-16 March) and Lahore (21-25 March),” a statement issued by the PCB said.
According to PCB, three changes have been made to the national Test squad after the Bangladesh tour.
It said that Haris Rauf, who played in the Test series against South Africa and Zimbabwe in 2021, has re-joined the squad and replaces off-spinner Bilal Asif. Meanwhile, Shan Masood, who last played in the New Zealand Test series in 2020-21, has replaced Abid Ali since he is undergoing rehabilitation after being diagnosed with Acute Coronary Syndrome. Moreover, Yasir Shah has been added to the reserve pool.
The PCB further stated that the Test cricketers who are not playing in the ongoing Pakistan Super League season 7 will gather in Karachi next Wednesday, February 16, to participate in a training camp at National Stadium Karachi.
Babar Azam (captain) (Central Punjab)
Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain) (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
Abdullah Shafique (Central Punjab)
Azhar Ali (Central Punjab)
Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab)
Fawad Alam (Sindh)
Haris Rauf (Northern)
Hasan Ali (Central Punjab)
Mohammad Nawaz (Northern)
Nauman Ali (Northern)
Sajid Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
Saud Shakeel (Sindh)
Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
Shan Masood (Balochistan)
Zahid Mahmood (Sindh)
Kamran Ghulam (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
Mohammad Abbas (Southern Punjab)
Naseem Shah (Southern Punjab)
Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh)
Yasir Shah (Balochistan)
‘Squad comprises best available, in-form players’
Chief selector Muhammad Wasim said that they have opted for consistency for the crucial home series against Australia and made the changes only where necessary.
He said that it is to give the boys confidence, reward them for their impressive performances in the longer version of the game in 2021 and continue to build the side for the future.
“These are the best available, most talented and in-form players in the domestic circuit. I am confident they will put up an impressive performance against a formidable Australia side,” he added.
Saqlain Mushtaq to continue as head coach for another year
Meanwhile, the PCB confirmed that Saqlain Mushtaq will continue as head coach for another 12 months, while it also announced the appointments of Shaun Tait as fast bowling coach for 12 months and Mohammad Yousuf as batting coach for the Australia series.
Player Support Personnel
Mansoor Rana (manager), Saqlain Mushtaq (head coach), Shahid Aslam (assistant to head coach), Mohammad Yousuf (batting coach), Shaun Tait (bowling coach), Cliffe Deacon (physiotherapist), Drikus Saaiman (trainer/strength and conditioning coach), Abdul Majeed (fielding coach), Emmad Ahmed Hameed (media and digital manager), Col (retd) Usman Anwari (security manager), Talha Ejaz (analyst) and Malang Ali (masseur).
Cricket Australia announced an 18 member Test squad for its first Pakistan tour, starting March 4, in Rawalpindi.
Australia to tour Pakistan for the first time in 24 years
The PCB had earlier announced the details of Australia’s first tour of Pakistan since November, 1998. The tour will take place in March and April 2022 and will include three Tests, three One-Day Internationals, and one Twenty20 International.
Karachi (3-7 March), Rawalpindi (12-16 March), and Lahore (21-25 March) will host the Tests, while Lahore will host the four white-ball matches from 29 March to 5 April.
The Tests will be part of the ICC World Test Championship, while the ODIs will be part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, a 13-team competition from which the top seven teams and hosts India will qualify directly for the 2023 event.