The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on Wednesday, announced a 20-player squad for their upcoming two-match Test series against South Africa. The squad included nine of their uncapped players.
The nine players who have received their maiden call-up in the Pakistan squad include opening batsmen Abdullah Shafique and Imran Butt, pacers Haris Rauf and Tabish Khan, middle-order batsmen Kamran Ghulam, Salman Ali Agha and Saud Shakeel, and spin bowlers Nauman Ali and Sajid Khan.
The players received the call-up keeping in view their performances during the 2020-21 domestic season that includes the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
In his successful Quaid-e-Azam Trophy season, Hasan Ali won the Player of the Tournament, making way for his return in the Test squad after two years. Along with Hasan Ali, left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz has also returned to the squad after a stellar season of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. He scalped 22 wickets and scored 744 runs in the competition.
PCB Chief selector Muhammad Wasim said, “I want to congratulate all the uncapped players who have made it to the 20-player Pakistan Test squad. These nine players are now just a step away from representing Pakistan in the pinnacle format of the game. As such, they have an outstanding opportunity to step-up show their class and potential and perform strongly so that they can cement their places for future international assignments.
“This is a reward for their consistent performance, hard work and perseverance during a difficult season played under the strict Covid-19 protocols. This is also an endorsement that domestic cricket will be valued and respected, and will remain a stepping stone for international cricket,” he added.
The Test series between Pakistan and South Africa will commence from January 26, while the players will enter the bio-secure bubble by January 19. A final 16-player squad will be announced before the first Test.
Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain, wicket-keeper), Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Imran Butt, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Kamran Ghulam, Salman Ali Agha, Saud Shakeel, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tabish Khan, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Yasir Shah