‘Unfit’ Hafeez selected for England Test series
Pakistan chief selector Inzamamul Haq on Sunday announced names of 17 players who will participate in the Test series during Pakistan’s tour of England next month.
Speaking at a press conference in Lahore, the 46-year-old veteran announced the final version of the Test squad for four match series, which will begin on July 14 at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.
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Talking to the media at Gaddafi Stadium, the newly appointed chief selector said that the team was finalised after consulting with the coach Micky Arthur, who is yet to join the Men in Green after being appointed as the head coach last month.
“It is unfortunate that our new coach Micky Arthur could not join the team, as we wanted him to see the players before finalising the squad,” said Inzamam.
“But we have finalised the 17-member squad after consulting with him, and he will join the team in the near future.”
Inzamam said three unfit players, including leg-spinner Yasir Shah and batsman Mohammad Hafeez, were included in the final squad after clearance by the team doctor.
Talking about fast-bowler Muhammad Amir, who was part of the 2010 spot-fixing scandal which took place at Lord’s cricket ground, the chief selector said his inclusion in the squad was subject to the UK visa approval.
Asked about Mohammad Rizwan’s inclusion in the squad in presence of vice-captain Sarfraz Ahmed, the 46-year-old said a backup wicketkeeper was necessary for the team.
“He[Rizwan] is playing for Pakistan for a while now in the short formats, and we believe this is the right time to include him for this tour,” he said. “On such a long tour, with numerous side matches as well, there is a chance of players getting injured, so having a backup wicketkeeper is not a bad thing. It will give the team management a chance to rotate players if they want to.”
Pakistan will tour England in July to play four-Test, five-ODIs and one-off T20 series. The first Test will be played on July 14.
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The series will also consist of five ODIs and one T20Is, which will be followed after the Test series.
Muhammad Hafeez*, Sami Aslam, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk) Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Younus Khan, Misbahul Haq (c), Asad Shafiq, Muhammad Amir, Rahat Ali, Imran Khan, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan.
*Subject to fitness