Lahore: Pakistan Cricket Board on Monday announced their 18-member squad for the three-match Test series against England in December, spinner Abrar Ahmed and fast bowler Mohammad Ali received maiden Test call-ups.
For the first time since 2005, England are set to tour Pakistan for a Test series. Rawalpindi will host the first Test before the action moves to Karachi and Multan for the subsequent games.
Amongst the omissions, notable names include Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah and Shaheen Afridi. Afridi recently underwent surgery on his appendix as the star pacer continues his recovery from his ongoing knee injury.
he selectors also dropped Fawad Alam, Yasir Shah and Hasan Ali, who had been part of the Sri Lanka tour in July earlier this year.
Pakistan squad for England Tests:
Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (vc & wk), Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shan Masood and Zahid Mehmood
The series will be crucial for Pakistan to keep their hopes of making the World Test Championship Final alive. Babar Azam's men are currently placed fifth in the standings with a point percentage of 51.85.
Twenty-four-year-old Abrar is in red-hot form in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
Before the start of the last round on Sunday (20 November), Abrar had claimed 43 wickets at an average of 21.95.
He has recorded five five-wicket hauls in six matches and has played an integral role in turning his side into serious contenders to secure a berth in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final.
Uncapped Mohammad Wasim Jnr and Zahid Mehmood, who were part of the Test side for the three Tests against Australia earlier in the year, are the other two players to return to the side.
The three Tests are part of the ICC World Test Championship and are scheduled to be played in Rawalpindi (December 1-5), Multan (December 9-13) and Karachi December 17-21).
Each of the nine teams play six series - three at home and three away - in 2021-23 cycle.
The upcoming series is Pakistan's fifth - their last series will be the two Tests against New Zealand in December 2022 and January 2023.
These three Tests will be England's final appearance in the second edition of the World Test Championship.