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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced a 29-member squad for the upcoming England tour, where they will play the three-match Test series and three-match T20I series in this August-September.
Since the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected cricket since March, the Pakistan national cricket team hasn’t played an international match yet. Apart from their running PSL 2020, some of their recent international series has also been postponed due to this pandemic.
Pakistan’s tour of England this year has also been postponed. However, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and PCB are very much hopeful to maintain their FTP schedule in August-September. They are currently busy in talk as the reschedule of the Test and T20I series between England and Pakistan haven’t come out yet.
However, the PCB hasn’t waited for the rescheduling as they have announced the 29-member Pakistan squad for the England tour on Friday (12th June) afternoon. While Azhar Ali will continue to lead the Pakistan Test team, Babar Azam will play the deputy captain role in the Test team but the captain role in the T20I side.
In this 29-member squad, the selection committee has included the uncapped players 19-year-old Haider Ali and 33-year-old Kashif Bhatti. Though Bhatti was included in the full-member squads in some of the previous Test series (against Australia and Sri Lanka; Bhatti was also in the probable list for the Rawalpindi Test), he didn’t manage to earn the first cap for his national team yet.
The 36-year-old right-arm pacer Sohail Khan, who last time served for the Pakistan team in September 2017 during the Lahore T20I against ICC World XI, has also been included in this 29-member squad.
Former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, who last time played for Pakistan in October 2019, has also been added in this squad. Senior all-rounders Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez have also returned to the national squad. The 34-year-old left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz has also earned the call-up.
PCB also named four-member reserve squad for Pakistan tour of England
Bilal Asif, Imran Butt, Musa Khan and Mohammad Nawaz have also been named in the reserve-squad. If any of the 29-member Pakistan squad fails the pre-tour COVID-19 test, the reserved player will earn the call-up for the England tour. The PCB has scheduled the pre-tour COVID-19 test on 20th and 25th June.
Injured Hasan Ali wasn’t available for this selection while Mohammad Amir and Haris Sohail were unavailable for the selection due to pulling out their names citing personal reasons.
The 29-member Pakistan squad for England tour: Azhar Ali (Test captain), Babar Azam (Test vice-captain and T20I captain), Abid Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmad, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim, Kashif Bhatti, Shadab Khan, and Yasir Shah.